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

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: , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

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…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016
  • Policy group urges opposition to new charter seats in Little Rock

    The Arkansas Public Policy Panel is urging supporters of the Little Rock School District to tell state Board of Education members they oppose applications to be heard this week to dramatically expand the number of charter school seats in the Little Rock School District.
    • Mar 9, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

  • A Highway 10 traffic solution recommendation

    The Arkansas Department of Transportation has announced its preferences for interchange and other improvements along the Highway 10 corridor between Pleasant Valley Drive and Pleasant Ridge Road.
  • Martha Shoffner, nearing completion of term, back in Arkansas

    Martha Shoffner, who reported to federal prison Nov. 3, 2015 for a 30-month sentence for taking bribes in return for state bond business when she was state treasurer, is nearing the end of her sentence and n
  • McCain says no on Graham-Cassidy

    BREAKING FROM THE AP: Republican Sen. John McCain announces opposition to health care bill, dashing hopes for GOP leaders.
  • ACLU: School crisis 60th no time for celebration. Plus, a message for the governor

    Rita Sklar, executive director of the Arkansas affiliate of the American Civil LIberties Union, has issued a statement taking issue with those who view the 60th anniversary of Central High's limited desegregation thanks to federal court and troops as a "celebration." Plus, my own suggestion for Monday speech-makers.
  • 60th opens with panel of Little Rock Nine

    Eight members of the Little Rock Nine, lacking the late Jefferson Thomas, gathered for a panel discussion at the Clinton School for Public Service this morning to open a weekend of activities marking the 60th anniversary of their desegregation of Central High School.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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