Saturday, July 18, 2015

Fat pay is the order of the day — from governor to treasurer to Supreme Court

Posted By on Sat, Jul 18, 2015 at 9:47 AM

click to enlarge DID HE DO RIGHT: That's what Dennis Milligan promised.
  • DID HE DO RIGHT: That's what Dennis Milligan promised.
State employees got a miserly pay raise this year, to fit a budget constrained by tax cuts for the rich and a not-robust economy. But at least they got a 1 percent COLA after several years without.

However, select workers in certain offices did better.

Larry, Moe and Shemp at Treasurer Dennis Milligan's offfice — Jason Brady, Grant Wallace and Jim Harris — got raises of 11, 11 and 6 percent. That put their pay at a bit over $91,000 for the first two and $105,000 for Harris, who was laboring as a TSA agent at the airport before he joined Milligan in his disastrous tenure as Saline Circuit clerk, where legal settlements and fees are likely to hit the half-million mark before they're done. And that doesn't count the defamation lawsuit against Milligan and Harris by a former treasurer's employee and other misdeeds, such as the illegal hire of a Milligan cousin for a state job.  Don't forget that Harris wasn't qualified for the chief of staff job by terms of legislation enacted by the Republican legislature in 2013 to restore confidence in the treasurer's office. One of Milligan's first acts was to get that rule changed so he could hire his pal Harris, whose record in Saline County includes a juvenile episode recounted in one of the many lawsuits for — hah hah — having a local lawman put a comely lass in handcuffs for a time. Just a little morale-booster for the office, in between Milligan using the public copier for his horse racing hobby.

Michael Wickline, who reported on these salary boosts (earlier noted in our threads by a Milligan critic, also reported on some big pay boosts in the governor's office — $23,000 for a lawyer and $25,000 for a communications hand — but they were accompanied by more highfalutin' titles.

Speaking of pay raises: The legal community has been buzzing about yet another spot of contention in the Arkansas Supreme Court. It arises from some extraordinary pay boosts for staff of certain Supreme Court justices (an $18,500 boost for a clerk with four years on the job for Justice Karen Baker, for example). The increases appear to be out of line with pay for Court of Appeals staff, despite a statute that seems to demand pay parity.

I have the full details. At some point, I'll get it together in a coherent form.

My sources tell me the matter of disparate pay raises for staff was yet another issue on which opinions were divided on the Supreme Court. I was talking with a prosecutor yesterday (no, justices, not from Pulaski County) about a rising concern about court credibility, including the fear that personal feelings might influence actual decision-making. The court does make decisions now and then. Not now. Remember — when evaluating pay, recently pushed near $165,000 for justices — that Supreme Court jobs are far from full time. They take a long summer break and other holiday breaks, while issuing only a handful of cases each week when they are in session. And sometimes, as in the marriage equality case, never.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Speaking of...

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • In defense of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights

    An op-ed in today's New York Time by Katha Pollitt says what I've been struggling to say about the reaction to the attack on women's reproductive rights launched by means of the undercover videos made by anti-abortion activists.
    • Aug 5, 2015
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Matt Campbell files ethics complaint against Dennis Milligan

    Little Rock attorney and blogger Matt Campbell, whose knack for deep research brought down Mark Darr, Mike Maggio and Dexter Suggs, now has his sights trained on another worthy target. Today, he filed a 113-page ethics complaint against state Treasurer Dennis Milligan that includes 14 separate allegations.
    • Aug 20, 2015

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: White flag waved on Trumpcare

    • Republicans are real good at throwing rocks and it turns out, that is their only…

    • on March 24, 2017
  • Re: White flag waved on Trumpcare

    • #BadDealMakerDonaldTrump: "The Art of the Failed Deal" Make America Grope Again (and again and again…

    • on March 24, 2017
  • Re: White flag waved on Trumpcare

    • Republicans have had 7 years to come up with a better plan and put forth…

    • on March 24, 2017



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation