California governor’s salary in contrast is only $173,987
A chief psychiatrist at one of California’s overcrowded prisons was paid more than any other state employee in 2010. According to payroll figures, the unnamed physician had a salary range of $261,408 to $308,640 and collected a total of $838,706. According to data released by Controller John Chiang, the salary total included bonuses or payout of unused vacation time or sick days.
Figures revealed that the 10 highest-paid state employees each earned more than $500,000 in the 2010 calendar year. California Governor Jerry Brown’s salary in comparison is only $173,987. Seven of the top 10 were prison doctors or dentists.
“Governor Brown is concerned about high salaries and payouts, which are driven by a number of things, including court mandates, accrued vacation time and the last administration’s furlough program,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Ashford said in a statement. “We are looking closely at why some individuals receive such extraordinary sums.”
The nation’s largest correctional system operates at 75 percent above its rated capacity with 163,000 inmates. California is now developing a plan to reduce the population without having to release dangerous felons.
A reason explaining the exorbitant salary as commanded by prison psychiatrists, doctors and dentists can be explained by a July 1 job posting by the State Personnel Board. The salary is as much as $25,720 a month.
“Administering psychiatric care and administering dental care, when done properly, is crucial,” a corrections spokesman, Paul Verke says. He said the department wasn’t able to identify the psychiatrist from the controller’s data.
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