Public Employee in San Diego Made More Than $1 Million in 2009

The Los Angeles Times reports: "Three hospital district executives have emerged as among the highest-paid public employees in California, according to a state report, including an official in San Diego County who made more than $1 million in 2009."

The Times reviewed a public employee compensation database compiled by State Controller John Chiang, and found that Michael Covert, chief executive of the Palomar Pomerado Hospital District, made $1,035,709 in 2009 – a base salary of $587,204, plus a $350,000 bonus and a $93,000 contribution to his pension fund.

Hospital officials said the high pay is needed to ensure that the district has the most talented staff possible, and said Mr. Covert oversees the largest public healthcare district in California (with more than 4,000 employees) and is overseeing a $950 million construction project. They also said studies have shown that the average private-sector hospital executive makes far more than the average public-sector hospital executive.

Others who are being paid well by the taxpayers include: Nancy Farber, chief executive of the Washington Township Health Care District in Fremont, who made $874,000 in 2009; Sam Downing, chief executive of the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital District, who made $791,000; and Lee Domanico, chief executive of the Marin Healthcare District, who received approximately $582,000. (Source: Los Angeles Times, March 29.)

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