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Here are the top 10 highest-paid San Luis Obispo County employees last year

The San Luis Obispo County Government Center, where the county Board of Supervisors meets.
The San Luis Obispo County Government Center, where the county Board of Supervisors meets. The Tribune

The top earners in San Luis Obispo County government in 2017 didn’t get there with salaries alone, rather their six-figure incomes were bolstered with overtime and pay-out benefits.

The top two earners were both psychiatrists working on-call on top of their full time hours — reflecting an ongoing problem the county has had hiring trying to fill an open position.

“We have persistent vacancies for psychiatrists. The ones we do have pick up all the slack,” said Human Resources Director Tami Douglas-Schatz when explaining extra pay two county employees received in 2017.

Wage data released by the California State Controller’s Office show that the county Medical Director and Psychiatrist Dr. Daisy Ilano was paid an extra $124,900 and staff psychiatrist Anup Sidhu was paid an extra $93,700 on top of their salaries.

That pay is reimbursement for being on-call or responding to call-backs for psychiatric services at the county’s in-patient clinic because “we never can hire psychiatrists,” Douglas-Schatz emphasized.

The next top earners, County Counsel Rita Neal and District Attorney Dan Dow, were both paid thousands of dollars for a cash health benefit that is no longer available to new employees. The program allows employees who are grandfathered in to take the cash equivalent of the county contribution to their health care plans in lieu of the coverage. Douglas-Schatz said often the employee may be covered by their spouse’s insurance, for example, she said. Dow received about $8,000 and Neal received about $2,000.

Neal also received thousands in vacation time, and they both received cash for auto allowance and cell phone reimbursement.

Curiously, a Sheriff’s commander took home more pay than his boss.

That was due to $56,000 in payouts to Kenneth Conway who retired. The money was from accrued vacation and sick leave, as well as cell phone reimbursement and the cash equivalent of health care benefits.

Here are the top 10 highest paid county workers for 2017:

1. Medical Director, Behavioral Health: $410,957

Regular Pay: $286,031

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $0

Other Pay: $124,926

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $95,737*

*Total retirement and health contributions not factored into total wages.

2. Staff Psychiatrist, Behavioral Health: $350,294

Regular Pay: $256,555

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $0

Other Pay: $93,739

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $28,167

3. County Counsel: $231,172

Regular Pay: $217,911

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $4,282

Other Pay: $8,979

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $85,294

4. District Attorney: $224,380

Regular Pay: $210,437

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $0

Other Pay: $13,943

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $88,611

5. Public Health Administrator: $218,930

Regular Pay: $212,472

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $0

Other Pay: $6,458

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $85,851

6. Health Agency Director: $207,682

Regular Pay: $199,774

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $0

Other Pay: $7,908

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $79,254

7. Sheriff’s Commander: $206,324

Regular Pay: $140,588

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $56,130

Other Pay: $9,606

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $9,291

8. Sheriff-Coroner: $205,118

Regular Pay: $205,118

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $0

Other Pay: $0

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $110,233

9. Assistant County Administrator: $201,358

Regular Pay: $197,374

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $3,594

Other Pay: $390

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $78,878

10. County Administrative Officer: $199,714

Regular Pay: $151,212

Overtime Pay: $0

Lump-Sum Pay: $44,317

Other Pay: $4,185

Total Retirement and Health Contribution: $61,823

Monica Vaughan: 805-781-7930; @MonicaLVaughan
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