Watchdog 10: Psychiatrist Tops List As State’s Highest Paid Employee At $335,000


UPDATED: Wednesday March 6, 2013 6:09 PM

More than 61,000 people received a state paycheck totaling $2.9 billion last year. About $105 million of that was in overtime, Watchdog 10 found.

Of those, more than 137 people made more than Gov. John Kasich – who made $148,000 last year.

The top paid employee in the state is a psychiatrist, who made $335,000 in 2012. Nearly $178,000 of that was overtime.

In addition, the data shows that 17 of the top 20 overtime earners in the state were from the Ohio Department of Mental Health.

In a statement, a spokeswoman from the department of health said that a union contract requires the state to pay psychiatrists $65 an hour for nights and weekends but said that is far less than private physicians would charge.

When asked why the department does not hire additional doctors, the spokeswoman said that hiring additional personnel would cost taxpayers more because of benefits and retirement payments.

The department insists it is providing services in the most fiscally responsible way.

As a whole, the Ohio Department of Corrections was the largest employer. More than 13,000 employees earned a total of $643 million with $53 million in overtime.

Among the top earners was a licensed practical nurse at the Pickaway Correctional Institute who earned $139,000 with nearly $87,000 in overtime.

A correctional officer in Marion earned double his normal salary thanks to $56,000 in overtime.

In all, more than 2,000 state employees earned six-figure incomes. That is 197 more people than in the previous year.

Still, though, overtime in Ohio was down by $2.8 million.

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