JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – You might think Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is the highest paid person in the city’s government, but he’s not.
According to salary data for city employees obtained by the News4Jax I-TEAM, Curry is outside of the top 10. The data is public record, and it includes every city department with the exception of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, which the I-TEAM has requested separately.
Financial data shows there are 11 people paid by city dollars who make more than Curry, whose salary is $206,218.
They include a lawyer -- Jason Gabriel, the city’s general counsel, who makes $229,325 a year. There are also seven doctors, who run departments like emergency medical services for the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.
The city’s highest earner? Robert Pietak, the interim district chief medical examiner, who makes $355,299 annually.
“Where you’re seeing salary increases is really in those professional services, such as medicine, law,” said News4Jax political analyst Rick Mullaney, who is a former general counsel for the city.
Another notable name -- Brian Hughes, the city’s chief administrative officer. He has the second highest salary News4Jax could find, making $313,500.
“The chief administrative officer really is a critical position in city government,” Mullaney said. “If you look at the department heads, they report to the chief administrative officer. They’re responsible for making the trains run on time.”
The I-TEAM compared the numbers to some other notable salaries that are paid more than Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose salary is just over $134,000. The highest paid state employee on record is Richard Corcoran, the education commissioner, who makes a little more than $284,000 a year.
When asked for comment on the COJ salaries, Jordan Elsbury, Curry’s chief of staff, released a statement that reads: “This administration has a history of hiring talented, qualified people from the private sector and these salaries reflect that.”