Democratic State Treasuer Janet Cowell is facing questions about why she gave top officials who manage the state's $75 billion pension fund big raises even as most state workers didn't get a salary bump.
From the Insider: Four top officials in the treasurer's investment management division, along with an attorney who works for the treasurer's office, received raises in the 10-percent range during the 2011-12 fiscal year, state personnel records show. Most rank-and-file state workers received no raises that year. A 2008 law, though, allows Cowell to tap pension fund dollars, without going through the appropriations process, to pay top pension fund managers.
A separate budget provision approved by legislators in 2011 froze state salaries, but allowed increases "for reallocations or promotions, in-range adjustments for job change, career progression adjustments for demonstrated competencies, or any other adjustment related to an increase in job duties or responsibilities." Increases over 10 percent had to be approved in advance by the Office of State Budget and Management.
Cowell spokeswoman Heather Strickland said none of the increases was due to a promotion, but that all fell within the exceptions allowed by the law. She declined to identify the specific reasons. According to state personnel records, investment directors Susan Carter and Jeff Smith saw their annual salaries rise nearly 10 percent during 2011-12, going from $210,000 to $230,000. The salary increases were effective Dec. 1, 2011. Portfolio manager Bradley Creel received a 10-percent raise, with his salary rising from $82,000 to $90,200, as did portfolio manager Arlene Jones-McCalla, whose annual pay rose from $85,000 to $93,500. Their increases were effective Aug. 11, 2011. Attorney Joyce Rutledge also received a 10-percent raise, with her pay going from $109,540 to $120,494. That increase was effective March 1, 2012. Strickland said the Office of State Personnel signed off on the raises for Creel, Jones-McCalla and Rutledge.