Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Pa's Top 25

The Harrisburg Patriot-News/ Monday published the top salaries in state government; the top 25 are, well, interesting.

Pa's Top 25

James Rudisill coaches the West Chester University diving team.
James Rudisill coaches the West Chester University diving team.


Editor's note: Information has been added to clarify the 2012 salary of James Rudisill.

Who are the highest paid state employees?

You might find the data, well, interesting.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News/ reports in a package of stories tons of data on how much state workers take home, who they are and what their jobs are: you can read the stuff here.

In just looking at the top 25 salaries, though, one can get a sample -- if not of our state's priorities -- of where the highest salary dough is going.

The data is from 2012.

The top dollars last year went to former California University of Pennsylvania (Washington County) president Angelo Armenti, who was fired last year and now is suing. His 2012 take was $367,449.

Gov. Corbett, by the way, is 190th on the state payroll at $178,033.

Others in the top 25 include 15 Department of Public Welfare employees, all psychiatrists and physicians, ranging in salary from $264,353 to $351,054.

The highest-paid legislative employees in 2012 were Vincent DeLiberato, senior attorney with the Legislative Reference Bureau, $318,115, and now-retired Ed Nolan who was director of the GOP House Appropriations Committee, $286,547.

Most of the other top 25 work for the State System of Higher Ed or Higher Education Assistance. You can look at the top 25 and more here.

One surprise: the 25th highest paid state employee in 2012 was the swimming coach at West Chester University, James "Jamie" Rudisill, $260,768. His salary last year was supplemented by swim classes, camps and an arbitration award related to a 2008 grievance over such supplemental pay. In 2007, The Patriot reported he made $182,446.

The Patriot notes the number of state employees making six figures has grown by 59% in the past five years (during the worst recession since the Great Depression and while many private-sector salaries stayed flat or declined). In 2007 there were 3,043 state workers making at least $100,000 a-year; in 2012 the number jumped to 4,831.

Your tax dollars at work. Enjoy your work week.

Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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