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Health

Data Show Prison Doctors At Top Of State Pay Scale

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CBS Los Angeles (con't)

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SACRAMENTO (AP) — Doctors, dentists and psychiatrists with the federal receiver’s office overseeing inmate medical care are the highest paid state employees in California, according to government salary data the state controller’s office released Tuesday.

Two prison doctors make more than $700,000 a year. Dozens of other prison medical personnel, some with the Department of Mental Health, make more than $300,000 a year.

A top official with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection makes $309,000 annually.

The controller’s office began requesting the data in response to the compensation scandal in the Los Angeles County city of Bell. Residents there voted the entire city council out of office in March after learning that council members and other top officials were giving themselves enormous salaries and pensions.

The top four are two doctors, a dentist and a psychologist, all working for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, who were paid salaries ranging from $777,323 — highest in the state — to $582,609.

They were followed by the chief risk officer for the State Compensation Insurance Fund, California’s largest provider of workers’ compensation, at $561,072.

The information is available on a website that shows salary ranges as well as actual compensation in calendar year 2010, said Hallye Jordan, spokeswoman for Controller John Chiang. It lets users see the employees’ true earnings, including overtime, bonuses, and if they cashed in vacation time or sick leave, she said.

“There are people who are making more than the maximum salary (range),” Jordan said, by the time additional income is added to their base salaries.

All five of the top-paid state employees earned more than the maximum salary listed for their position.

They are followed by the chief investment officer for the California Public Employees Retirement System, who was paid $548,142 last year in a job with a maximum listed salary of $612,000.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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