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Who’s the highest-paid Pierce County government employee?

Post by David Wickert on April 23, 2010 at 8:00 am |
April 23, 2010 10:30 am

Who is Pierce County government’s highest paid employee?

The answer: Dr. Miguel Balderrama, medical director at the Pierce County Jail. He grossed $186,455 in 2009, according to pay data obtained by The News Tribune and posted on our SoundInfo web page.

Balderrama was one of 371 Pierce County employees who earned six-figure salaries last year, a News Tribune analysis found. That’s a 70 percent increase from 2008, when 218 county employees earned at least $100,000. In 2007 187 employees earned six-figure pay.

Why the big increase? Overtime at the short-staffed county jail is a factor. So are inflation-driven cost-of-living raises for all employees – including a 5.2 percent raise last year. Throw in an extra paycheck last year because of a quirk in the calendar, and you’ve got a big jump in the number of employees earning at least $100,000.

Look for a full report in Sunday’s News Tribune. In the meantime, you can view the 2009 pay for some 3,700 county employees here. Below is a list of the top earners in the county last year.


Pierce County's top-paid employees in 2009
Employee Job Title Department Total gross pay
Miguel Balderrama Physician/Medical Dir Sheriff $186,455
Jacquelyn Morhaime Forensic Pathologist Medical Ex $176,019
Brian Ziegler Dir-Pw & Utilities Pub Wks/Trn $174,294
Patrice Mccarthy Executive Executive $172,572
Patrick Kenney Dir-Budget & Finance Budget $170,827
Mark Lindquist Prosecuting Attorney Prosecutor $170,245
George Walk Dir-Government Relations Govt Reltns $151,536
Franklin Dacca Judge-District Court Dist Ct $146,740
James Heller Judge-District Court Dist Ct $146,740
Judy Jasprica Judge-District Court Dist Ct $146,740
David Kenworthy Judge-District Court Dist Ct $146,740
Jack Nevin Judge-District Court Dist Ct $146,740
Patrick Omalley Judge-District Court Dist Ct $146,740
Karla Roehm-Buttorff Judge-District Court Dist Ct $146,740
Margaret Ross Judge-District Court Dist Ct $146,740

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