It pays to live off the taxpayers, especially if you work for the Orange County Fire Authority. Last year, an OCFA fire captain raked in $245,350 in overtime, bringing their total compensation to over $508,000. While they were OCFA’s largest earner, according to Transparent California, the average fire captain is doing just fine, receiving $301,791 in pay and benefits.
Transparent California, a nonprofit which regularly publishes public employee compensation data, documents that 44 OCFA employees received overtime pay in excess of $100,000 last year, up from just 15 in 2015. That’s despite an overtime cap implemented in 2015. “Several employees who were already more than doubling their salary from overtime pay actually saw an increase after the cap took effect — which suggests that cap might need to be tightened a bit,” notes Robert Fellner, research director for the watchdog group.
Elsewhere in Orange County, it was the city of Anaheim which was found to have the five highest overtime payments of any Orange County city. Topping the list was a fire engineer, who received $204,458 in overtime, bringing their total compensation to $403,528. Whereas Transparent California observed a 5 percent increase in overtime pay last year across 148 cities with overtime payouts of at least $1 million, Anaheim was found to have a 19 percent increase in overtime, the 13th highest increase in the state. Buena Park also experienced an 18.5 percent growth in overtime, followed by Irvine at 17 percent, Costa Mesa at 17 percent and Fullerton at 14 percent.
In the county government, Transparent California also found that while in 2015 only Sheriff Sandra Hutchens received total compensation above $400,000, in 2016 there were 11 county workers who broke the $400,000 mark. Topping the list are five psychiatrists, receiving between $424,631.54 and $519,771.21 in pay and benefits, with overtime pay as much as $97,443.16.
Such excesses in government compensation, and indicators…