The Investigators

Oct 7, 2013 1:08 AM by Tom McNamara and Paul Birmingham

N4T Investigators: Pima County's 100 highest paid employees

The News 4 Tucson Investigators believe it's part of our job to keep tabs on what you, the taxpayer, shell out for public employee salaries.

This time around we look at the top of the payroll for Pima County's top earners.

Most of them work in jobs that require advanced or professional degrees, and specialized knowledge.

Here's the breakdown.

More than one-quarter of the top 100 highest paid county employee list are Pima County Superior Court Judges

There are 29 of them, who make $145,000 a year.

There are also more than a dozen Court Commissioners who make just over $130,000 annually.

Another top earner in the legal realm is County Attorney Barbara LaWall, at just over $124,000 a year. Meanwhile, Public Defender Isabel Garcia at $127,000 annually.

Four of the top ten highest paid work as Forensic Pathologists, earning between $158,000 and $203,000 a year. That includes Pima County's Medical Examiner, Dr. Gregory Hess.

We asked former County Supervisor Paul Marsh his impressions of current top county salaries.

He suggested that, given the economic downturn that's hit Pima County, and the rest of the nation, perhaps top salaries could be trimmed a bit.

Marsh said, "back when I was on that board. and they were running into a little bit of financial problems. you say, let's take a look at all our departments. All of them. You take ten-percent off the top. so you've got a department that's getting $200,000 a year to run it, they're getting $180,000. And what would happen? Would you lose any of those departments? They'd all manage it. and they'd all manage it much more efficiently than they're now doing, and just with that one move."

Topping the list of the highest paid county employees, is Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry.

He's been in that position since 1993. His total pay is $275,000 per year.



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