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California Controller Wants Increased Transparency After Bell Scandal

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SusanLeighTaylor20100909_KCBS_0706 Susan Leigh Taylor
Susan attended Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne (home...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)- More than a dozen state agencies paid some of their top executives more than $300,000 in 2009. That information comes as part of an ambitious effort by the state controller to make government employee compensation public after last year’s scandal in Bell.

The basic information was pulled from tax forms.

KCBS’ Susan Leigh Taylor Reports:


California Controller John Chiang says these latest efforts are just one installment in a multi-part look at public employee earnings. Last fall, salaries for city and county workers were posted. The newest figures to be added to the controller’s web site include salaries for transit, waste disposal, fire and police.

Coming soon are the salaries for employees in special districts and some agencies that are so obscure that they rarely receive any public scrutiny. Chiang said that transparency is the goal.

“The important fact here is that we’ve put these numbers up on our web site for the public to review,” said Chiang. “They can determine whether they think these salaries are appropriate, and they can lobby the local districts or contact their elected officials if they think things are out of sorts.”

However, Chiang also cautions that some figures can be deceiving. East Bay MUD general manager, Dennis Diemer is listed as having been paid over $420,000 for 2009. But a quarter of that money was for unused vacation time accumulated over a 30-year career before his retirement.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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