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James Gardner, CEO, Northeast Ga. Medical Center: $1,279,387
Gardner earned $821,619 in salary in fiscal year 2008, plus a benefit package worth $457,768, according to tax records for Northeast Georgia Health Systems, which owns the Gainesville medical center.
The nearly $1.3 million in total compensation for the CEO was 35 times what the average Hall County resident earned, according to a new report by the Hospital Accountability Project. Hospital officials say that comparison is not fair.