Health Workers Among Top Paid Employees in Four Calif. Counties
Ten of the 50 highest-paid local government employees across four California counties are health care professionals, according to analysis of salary data by the Sacramento Bee.
The data were collected by Transparent California, which produces an annual salary report at the request of the Tustin-based California Policy Center.
The salary data do not include employer payments for health insurance or pensions. However, the data do include other benefits, such as credit for unused vacation time, uniform allowances, overtime pay and other job-related costs. According to the Bee, the most common type of additional compensation was for managers assuming extra duties beyond their usual job.
Robert Fellner, research director at Transparent California, said, "Government salaries are often misreported in the news. Base pay is often reported, when that is often only half of actual pay."
Among the 50 local officials in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties who received the most pay last year, 10 were health care professionals:
- Olga Ignatowicz, chief physician in Placer County, was paid $329,023;
- Robert Price, mental health medical director in El Dorado County, was paid $302,562;
- Donald Henrikson, a contract physician in Placer County, was paid $271,030;
- Jason Tovar, a forensic pathologist in Sacramento County, was paid $265,444;
- Robert Padilla, a physician in Sacramento County, was paid $263,751;
- Linda Frazier, a physician in Sacramento County, was paid $250,748;
- Michael Wanless, a pharmacist in Sacramento County, was paid $240,031;
- Grant Nugent, medical director in Sacramento County, was paid $239,000;
- Arturo Villamor, a psychiatrist and medical director in Yolo County, was paid $235,896; and
- Richard Malek, a physician in Placer County, was paid $234,499.
Sacramento County had the largest portion of employees -- 16 -- among the 50 highest-paid local government workers overall in the region, largely because many of them retired last year, allowing them to collect additional compensation (Branan, Sacramento Bee, 12/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.