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DOC salaries don’t violate rules

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Nov. 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm with No Comments »
November 3, 2011 6:37 pm

The salaries of the Department of Corrections employees who worked for Belinda Stewart were in line with required salary ranges, according to data provided today by the governor’s budget office.

State Sen. Mike Carrell had said they were above the ranges. His online posting led to an ethics complaint dismissed today.

The reason for the discrepancy:  The official salary document Carrell cited in his newsletter didn’t reflect a 3 percent pay cut that state employees took this year, while the official salary range on the Department of Personnel website did reflect the cut.

According to the budget office’s data, the raises Carrell cited were longevity-based step increases. Those increases aren’t covered by an ongoing pay freeze.

One of those employees, Maria Peterson, said her reputation could have been damaged by the claims that tied her pay increase to the nonprofits run by her boss, Stewart.

Peterson said today she filed the complaint against Carrell — on her own time, she said, and not on behalf of her agency.

“I didn’t feel it was fair that false information was put out to I don’t know how many constituents,” Peterson said. “Any compensation was based on my performance, and nothing else.”

Peterson is at the top of the salary schedule though she has worked at DOC for just four years; her pay was increased based on performance before the pay freeze began, she said.

She said she doubts she will pursue the matter any further, now that her complaint has been dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

Carrell said he has a duty to expose wrongdoing by state managers.

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