The list of the highest-paid workers in King County is packed with folks like Director of Public Health David Fleming ($128.40 per hour), IT Project Executive Director Manuel Ovena ($96.60 per hour), and Medical Officer Richard Harruff ($98.92 per hour). But among those big earners, the second-highest-paid employee in King County isn't a highly trained medical professional or a technology whiz--it's a King County Sheriff's Deputy named Michael Miner.
The Tacoma News Tribunepublished the earnings on Wednesday.
Sure, Miner only makes ("only" being a highly relative term) $38.50 per hour for a base salary of $80,000 per year, but thanks to overtime pay of time-and-a-half, he was able to earn $216,645.
His boss Sheriff Sue Rahr only made $160,497.
Doing the math, Miner would have had to work 2,539 extra hours at his time-and-a-half rate of $57.75 in order to make the $146,676 in overtime. That's 50 hours of overtime per week (given a two-week vacation), or 90 total hours per week for a year--which is ridiculous not only from a monetary standpoint, but also from a public-safety standpoint, as anyone who works 90 hours in a week is likely to be a walking zombie by the end of it.
UPDATE: Seattle Weekly just spoke with Snohomish County Sheriff's Spokesman John Urquhart who says we did the math wrong.
Miner's base rate of $80,000 per year doesn't include the 15 to 17 percent extra he gets for longevity and education allowance. It's this rate that gets multiplied by 1.5 when figuring out Miner's overtime rate.
That said, Miner is still by far the most overtime-accumulating deputy on the streets.
Urquhart, who used to be Miner's sergeant, says he estimates that he works around 30 hours of overtime per week. He also points out that if Miner wasn't signing up for the overtime, someone else would be.
"We have been concerned for as long as I've been around that there is no cap on the number of overtime hours person a can work," he says. "We're not worried from a money standpoint. We want to limit the number of hours deputies can work because we think they will be safer and more productive."