"Corruptus in Extremis"
- - - Sure these huge salaries, bonuses and pensions are "legal", but they are only legal because the corrupt political hacks scratch each other's backs.
(San Bernardino Sun) - San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon topped the list of highest paid elected officials in California in 2013, according to recently released data by the state Controller’s Office,
A onetime payment of $121,579 for accrued vacation and sick time that McMahon cashed out after being appointed sheriff by the Board of Supervisors in December 2012 catapulted him to the top of state Controller John Chiang’s list.
Coupled with his base salary of $225,499, McMahon’s total income for 2013 was $363,986, according to the Controller’s Office.
McMahon took office as San Bernardino County sheriff in January 2013, and he was subsequently elected sheriff for four more years in the June primary.
The Board of Supervisors appointed McMahon sheriff following the abrupt departure of Sheriff Rod Hoops, who announced he was retiring in November 2012 to take another job with the Washington, D.C., law-enforcement think tank Police Foundation, headed by retired Redlands Police Chief Jim Bueermann.
Prior to becoming sheriff, McMahon was an assistant sheriff with nearly 30 years of accrued vacation and sick time he never used while ascending the ranks from patrol deputy to the sheriff’s executive staff.
“That’s 28 years of leave banks, and I was not a big user of sick leave or vacation time in my career,” McMahon said. “I think I used 2 hours of sick leave in my career.”
McMahon attributes his lack of sick time to being in the gym five days a week and “being blessed with good genes.”
“I have a pretty good track record of being healthy,” said McMahon, 51.
In a news release last month, Chiang, in an effort to make public finance information more readily available to taxpayers, announced two new websites: PublicPay.ca.gov, which provides information on public employee pay and benefits, and Trackprop30.ca.gov, which assists taxpayers in tracking every dollar raised under Proposition 30, a sales and income tax increase initiative approved by voters in 2012 that is supposed to benefit public schools.
On the list of top-earning public officials, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca came in at number two with $347,786 in total wages in 2013, followed by San Bernardino County Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector Larry Walker with $325,245.
The Board of Supervisors in 2010 approved a merger of the Treasurer/Tax Collector and Auditor-Controller offices in an effort to save the county between $500,000 and $1 million a year.
San Bernardino County is one of several counties in California that have combined treasurer-tax collector and auditor-controller offices. Others include Sacramento, Santa Clara and Fresno counties.
Walker said that while he has been tasked with a lot more responsibility and received a bump in pay due to the merger, it has had little negative impact on office operations. On the contrary, things are running more smoothly and efficiently than ever, and communication has improved greatly among him, his division chief and his staff, he said.
“I feel good about what I’ve done, but it’s an ongoing effort that I’m always involved in,” Walker said.
Other elected San Bernardino County officials who made the state controller’s list include District Attorney Michael A. Ramos, who ranked 15th highest paid elected official in the state with $259,451 in total wages in 2013. Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk Dennis Draeger was ranked 17th highest paid with $256,682 in total wages in 2013.
San Bernardino County ranked 25th in the state in terms of employee pay and benefits, with an average wage of $48,997 and an average of $20,321 in retirement and health care costs.
Salaries for the county’s five elected supervisors in 2013 were: $163,238, $168,237, $169.106, $172,930, and $173,503.