Report Due Out Tomorrow Showing Riverside County’s Highest Paid Officials

Diane Sieker photo

RIVERSIDE – The California State Controller’s Office tomorrow is
slated to release its annual report on the highest-paid officials in
Riverside County and other jurisdictions throughout the state.
The “Government Compensation in California” report will show how
taxpayer funds were spent in 2022, and who was receiving what on the public
The data will be available at
Last year’s report indicated that the largest composite salary in 2021
— $609,323 — went to a sheriff’s communication supervisor, who was not
named on the web portal.
The amount included base pay and overtime compensation — the latter
accounting for more than half of the total paid to the individual, according to
the controller’s office.
The report listed an assistant chief investigator in the District
Attorney’s Office as the second-highest paid. The career law enforcement
officer, also not identified, received an aggregate compensation of $535,084,
almost double what District Attorney Mike Hestrin received, which equaled the
sheriff’s pay of $294,520.
In government speak, when a subordinate makes more than the superior,
it’s called “compaction.” The Board of Supervisors in 2014 hiked executive
salaries in an attempt to fix disparities. A similar attempt to raise top
officials’ salaries was made last December, but the board rejected it.
A staff psychiatrist at the Department of Mental Health was No. 3 on
last year’s list, taking home $520,781
The medical director of the Department of Mental Health was fourth on
the list, at $514,138, followed by another staff psychiatrist — this one
assigned to the jail system — earning $488,230 in 2021, according to figures.
Not one elected county official appeared in the top 50 of the
controller’s list for Riverside County. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Van
Wagenen was at No. 41, with total compensation of $354,808, according to the
Board members were way down the list for annual compensation packages,
making less than many deputy public defenders, senior RUHS nurses, even a
laboratory researcher, figures showed.
County government is the single largest employer in Riverside County,
with just over 27,000 positions. Roughly $1.75 billion in total wages were paid
in 2021. That figure will be slightly higher for 2022.
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City News Service (CNS)