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|
|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|