Doctors top list of highest paid state employees

Who makes the most money working for the state of Ohio? Getty Images)

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Who makes the most money working for the state of Ohio? Getty Images)

108 state workers made more than $190k last year

Nurses and doctors, including specialists such as psychiatrists, working in Ohio’s prisons and mental health system dominate the list of 108 state employees who pulled in more than $190,000 in gross pay last year.


Dr. Zinovi Goubar, a psychiatrist for the Ohio Department of Mental Heath and Addiction Services, often is the highest paid state employee — $590,005 in 2017, $483,796 in 2016 and $456,243 in 2015 — because he earns “on duty” pay in addition to his base salary at Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare in Northfield.

Just a handful of administrators, including Gov. John Kasich’s chief of staff Beth Hansen and Ohio Public Schools Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, cracked the top paid list. Kasich made $148,854 while Hansen earned $197,072. Last year, 194 state employees were paid more than the governor.

Related: Doctors top list of highest-paid state workers in 2016

Related: Psychiatrist tops list of highest paid state employees in 2015

In the judicial branch, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor was paid $173,747 — the most of any elected judge in the state.

In the legislative branch, the highest paid elected officials were Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, who made $100,010, and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, who made $100,798. Half a dozen Ohio Senate employees made more than Obhof while 10 House employees made more than Rosenberger.

Aside from the governor, the statewide officeholders are paid the same: $109,962. Each had staff members who were paid more than that.

Treasurer Josh Mandel’s highest paid aide was general counsel Seth Metcalf, who earned $172,251.

Secretary of State Jon Husted’s top paid staffer was chief of staff Matt Damschroder, who made $147,629.

Auditor Dave Yost’s highest paid employee was Robert Hinkle, chief deputy auditor, who made $180,525.

Attorney General Mike DeWine’s highest paid worker was First Assistant Attorney General Mary Mertz, who earned $149,648.

The state employs a wide array of professionals: prison guards, truck drivers, college interns, doctors, lawyers, computer programmers, scientists, auditors and more.

Headcount: The total employee for 2017 was 51,716, down 522 over the 52,238 state workers in 2016 and just below the 51,806 in 2015. When Kasich started as governor in 2011, there were 55,442 state workers.

Payroll: Overall payroll was $3.21 billion last year, up from $3.12 billion in 2016. The increase reflects an average pay increase of 2.7 percent per employee, the state reported. The average annual gross pay for 2017 was $54,161, up from $52,724 in 2016.

High Earners: In 2017, 108 state workers made more than $190,000, including overtime, on duty and/or on-call. Another 82 workers made between $150,000 and $190,000 last year.

Overtime: The state has paid out more than $100 million in overtime in each of the past seven years. Last year, OT totaled $126.7 million, compared with $123.2 million in 2016 and $112.4 in 2015. More than 30,000 state workers received no overtime in 2017 while 6,498 were paid $500 or less in overtime.

Demographics: 79 percent of the state workforce identified themselves as white while 21 percent identified as black, Hispanic, Asian or mixed ethnicity; 44 percent are women while 56 percent are men.

Related: 13 earn salaries of $1-million or more at Ohio State University

Related: Gender pay gap widens in statewide offices

Staff writer Josh Sweigart contributed to this report.


Go to to take an in-depth look at new state government payroll data.

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