Among Los Angeles' top-paid city employees in 2012 -- including port pilots, airport general managers and high-ranking police officers -- is a clerk typist who took home more than $300,000, according to a new website that opens the city's finances to public view.
The website, ControllerDataLA, provides extensive data on just how City Hall collects and spends billions of dollars per year. That includes on a bi-weekly payroll for nearly 50,000 city employees.
"This is exactly where City Hall should go -- using innovation and technology to increase transparency and accountability," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. "LA residents have a right to know where their tax dollars are going and today we're making sure the info is online for everyone to see."
That includes the case of the clerk typist, whose pay was first flagged by the Los Angeles Times.
Without identifying the employee by name or offering a breakdown of compensation, the website shows that in 2012 the clerk typist, who works for the Los Angeles Police Department, earned an annual salary of less than $53,000, but received nearly $249,000 on top of regular pay.
By contrast, the fire and airport police chiefs were each paid less than $300,000 for the year.
According to an assistant to the city controller, the typist's seemingly disproportionate pay was likely the result of back pay plus interest. A typical scenario for back pay would be when an employee is fired, then wins their job back and is awarded pay for the time they were gone.
The LAPD could not immediately provide details regarding the payment to the clerk typist.
So who was the city's top-paid employee? A police detective who took home $373,000. The detective was awarded $269,000 in supplemental pay on top of his yearly salary of about $104,000.
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