Except for a Vallejo firefighter who got a $2 million payout for wrongful termination, the list of California’s highest-earning public employees for 2016 is dominated by medical personnel – surgeons, physicians, psychiatrists, hospital directors – and a few investment officers from CalPERS, the world’s largest public employee retirement system.
The top paid folk from that world, not including benefits, ranged from $591,653 to $1 million, according to the most recent data from Transparent California, a nonprofit that would like a reboot of public employee benefits.
But some first responders did pretty well, too, according to the data. Michael Rubino, chief port pilot II in Los Angeles, topped the state among first responders, with pay of $582,734. Patricia Knudson, chief deputy sheriff in Riverside, was second, with pay of $505,520.
Then there are dozens of public workers who more than doubled their pay with huge amounts of overtime – overwhelmingly firefighters in departments from Los Angeles to Oakland, San Jose to Orange County.
None of the figures cited here include benefits. Consider:
– The biggest overtime earner was Charles F. Ferrari, Los Angeles fire captain II, with a base salary of $123,025 and overtime pay of $334,655. Ferrari’s total pay was $469,198, according to the data.
– On his heels were Los Angeles Fire Captain James P. Vlach, with total pay of $483,730; and Los Angeles firefighter Donn D. Thompson, at $424,913.
– Riverside Utilities Electric Power System Dispatcher Donald Dahle had a base salary of $110,145, and overtime of $257,720. His total pay was $373,235.
– Orange County Fire Authority Captain Gregory Bradshaw had base pay of $116,846, and overtime of $245,350. His total pay was $412,689.
Transparent California collects and publishes the same public pay data that the state controller’s office does, but includes names.
The average fire captain for the Orange County Fire Authority earned $301,791 in total…