Monday, May 12, 2003

Ohio's 6-figure payroll grows



The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - The number of state employees who earned more than $100,000 last year is more than four times as large as it was eight years ago, according to a newspaper's analysis of payroll records.

The Columbus Dispatch said Sunday that 457 state employees made six-figure salaries last year, compared with 109 in 1994. The newspaper analyzed 72,850 non-university state payroll records from 2002.

Gov. Bob Taft, who earns $130,786 annually, was the 94th highest-paid state employee. Eight years ago, 14 employees made more than then-Gov. George Voinovich, who now is a U.S. senator.

Taft spokesman Orest Holubec said the state must offer "competitive salaries to attract top talent."

"These are all individuals in public service who are frequently making less than their counterparts in the private sector," Holubec said.

Of the 100 highest-paid employees last year, 72 were doctors and psychiatrists. That has been the trend for several years.

The state's highest-paid employee last year was Dr. Ki M. Hong, a psychiatrist at an Ohio Department of Mental Health center in Northfield. Hong received $217,104. Part of Hong's pay came from on-call hours when he was available to be called to work but not necessarily there.

Roderick Chu, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, ranked fourth on the overall list. Chu was paid $211,385, including a $6,000 annual car allowance. State schools Superintendent Susan T. Zelman made $199,578, ranking her eighth overall. Chief Justice Thomas Moyer of the Ohio Supreme Court was 88th at $132,649.




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