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Sam Williams, Metro Atlanta Chamber prez: $841,602
By JIM WALLS
Fellow travelers Vincent Fort and Jim Wooten are among those who think Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, needs to resign over the chamber’s complicity in covering up the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal.
If he does, Williams will leave behind an annual pay package nearing 7 figures.
Williams collected total compensation of $841,602 in the year ending in February 2010, tax records show. Salary raises and bonuses bumped up his annual pay by an average of about $47,500 in the four previous years; comparable raises since then (if he received them) would put his current annual compensation around $930,000.
Reliable information on Williams’ current pay is not publicly available since the chamber does not have to report its income and spending to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. But that’s not the case for the non-profit Peach Bowl Inc., which pays the chamber to help run the annual Chick-Fil-A Bowl college football game and which must report his compensation as an officer of both organizations.
Williams helped to orchestrate a blue-ribbon commission’s lackluster investigation of APS cheating that minimized the scope of the problem, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in August 2010. Investigators commissioned by Gov. Sonny Perdue said last week that business leaders had tried to protect the school district’s image against reports of cheating; they noted an e-mail by chamber vice president Renay Blumenthal had outlined a way to “finesse” the blue-ribbon report past the governor to deflect further inquiries.
Williams’ total compensation, based on Peach Bowl records:
FY 2005 — $651,046
FY 2006 — $697,573
FY 2007 — $734,389
FY 2008 — $859,099
FY 2009 — $841,602
FY 2010 — ???
FY 2011 — ???