HR Strange But True!
August 18, 2011

The constant news of layoffs, pay reductions, and concessions has made the public somewhat sympathetic to the pay plight of public workers. But Blaire Briody of The Fiscal Times has discovered a number of public employees who are “insanely overpaid”—earning much more than President Obama’s $400,000.

With 347 public employees in the state of Texas alone making more than the president, Briody selected the compensation of public employees around the country he thought were most “insane” because of the base salary and “other pay … that private employees only dream about” such as accrued sick pay. Most of his selections work for prisons and universities—and, he notes, all are men.

Assistant to President of Community Affairs, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center—$541,557
The retired head of this medical center now makes this salary for advising the current president about “philanthropic pursuits,” says Briody.

Chancellor of the University of Texas--$813,892
While the chancellor found items to cut in the university’s budget, he hasn’t given up his salary or perks, Briody says.

Prison Doctor, High Dessert State Prison, CA—$784,596
This M.D.’s total compensation includes base salary and bonuses. His salary has increased almost six times since 2004, even though he was on probation for 5 years for unprofessional conduct and impairment.

Prison Psychiatrist, Stockton, CA—$737,057
This mega salary includes overtime and over $500,000 in unused sick time.

CEO/VP of Hospital Affairs, Stonybrook University Hospital, NY—$721,043
This salary makes this CEO/VP the fourth highest-paid state employee in New York.

Prison Dentist, Averol State Prison, CA—$691,971
More than half of this is in unaccrued leave received when the dentist changed departments. When he retires, he will receive 42% of his base salary as a pension (estimated now at $140,000 per year) for the rest of his life.

Chancellor of the City University of New York—$560,038
Though he recently cut $200 million from the budget and raised tuition, Briody says the chancellor maintained his own salary.

Chief Investment Officer for Teacher’s Retirement System of Texas--$480,000
This former hedge fund manager is making a “Wall Street salary,” says Briody, although some teachers whose funds he is managing have had salaries reduced or been laid off.

Executive Director of Florida’s Public Insurance Provider—$343,608
One of the state’s highest paid employees, his salary comes from a 1.4 percent fee assessed on both private and public insurance premiums in the state in order to help cover the shortfall caused by Hurricane Katrina.

To read Briody’s complete descriptions of the compensation packages, go to

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