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John Thompson, fired Clayton County school sup’t: $367,371

John Thompson, fired after just 11 months from his Clayton County post, ranked as the third-best-paid school superintendent in Georgia for 2009. Thompson pocketed about $367,000 in the fiscal year ending June 30. He lost his job in March, less than a year after he’d been hired to turn the school system around and lead it back to accreditation. Check out the rest of the state’s 10 highest-paid superintendents.

MaChelle Joseph, Ga. Tech women’s hoops coach: $358,099

MaChelle Joseph, Ga. Tech women's hoops coach: $358,099

Orange Bowl-loser Paul Johnson was only the second-highest-paid coach at Georgia Tech last year, state records show. Tech paid MaChelle Joseph, the women’s basketball coach, $8,100 more than Johnson in fiscal year 2009. Johnson collects much more overall, but state auditors show Joseph’s base salary ranked second, behind UGA’s Mark Richt, among all coaches at state universities. Wonder who else made the Top 10?

John Seffrin, American Cancer Society CEO: $1,045,887

John Seffrin, American Cancer Society CEO: $1,045,887

Dr. John Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society since 1992, earned $1 million-plus last year thanks to a hefty deferred pay package, tax records show. The Atlanta-based non-profit, which eliminated 140 positions this year, paid Seffrin a base salary of $685,884 for the year ending Aug. 31, 2008. It also kicked in about $360,000 more toward his benefits and deferred compensation.

Charles Cary, Teachers Retirement System chief investment officer: $430,148

Cary was one of a dozen folks at the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia who made more than $200,000 in 2007-08. They include …

Guy F. Riekeman, Life U. president: $753,106

Guy F. Riekeman, Life U. president: $753,106

Guy Riekeman made a healthy $318,038 in 2005-06 as president of Life University in Marietta. But he’s done even better for himself since then, earning more than three-quarters of a million dollars in 2007-08.

Beverly Hall, ATL school superintendent: $400,298

Beverly Hall, ATL school superintendent: $400,298

Lean times have forced unpaid furloughs and reduced bonuses on some educators, but they haven’t hit Beverly Hall’s pocketbook. She will earn more than $400,000 this year in salary, bonuses and other benefits, including a car.

Joel Wernick, Phoebe Putney Health Systems CEO: $797,034

Joel Wernick, Phoebe Putney Health Systems CEO: $797,034

That’s how much Joel Wernick was paid in FY2008. That wasn’t even his best year. In FY2007, he collected $905,570, which included $249,758 in benefits and deferred pay.

Milton Little Jr., United Way of Metro Atlanta CEO: $435,962

Milton Little Jr., United Way of Metro Atlanta CEO: $435,962

The United Way would not disclose CEO Milton Little‘s salary when the AJC wrote about compensation for his predecessor, Mark O’Connell, in 2007. Now the organization has filed tax forms reporting Little’s 2008 compensation as nearly $436,000, including benefits and $77,000 in expenses.

Steven Hatchell, National Football Foundation CEO: $408,537

That salary’s a couple years old, but that’s how much the Irving, Texas-based National Football Foundation paid its CEO in 2007. The foundation last week announced plans to move its College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta.

Dave Wilkinson, Atlanta Police Foundation president: $215,500

Dave Wilkinson, Atlanta Police Foundation president: $215,500

It pays well to be Atlanta’s police chief. It pays better, apparently, to be raising money for the police. Dave Wilkinson, president of the Atlanta Police Foundation, made $215,500 in 2008, or 23 cents of every dollar it collected. That’s roughly $15,000 more than Police Chief Richard Pennington makes in a year.

Allison Vulgamore, Atlanta Symphony president: $628,592

Allison Vulgamore, Atlanta Symphony president: $628,592

Allison Vulgamore, who’s reportedly leaving Atlanta next summer to take the helm of the Philadelphia Orchestra, earned $597,669 plus nearly $31,000 in benefits for the year ending May 31, 2008, according to tax forms filed by the Woodruff Arts Center. Other notable FY2008 compensation at the arts center: — Cecylia Arzewski, concertmaster ($578,436) — Robert […]

Peter & Julia White, Southern Center for International Studies: $271,796

This couple’s combined salary represented 11 percent of all expenses in FY2007, as the Southern Center ran a deficit of nearly $1.2 million, tax records show. They made much more in the two previous years: $484,781 with benefits in FY2006 and $459,006 with benefits in FY2005.

  • about this page

    This page covers financial disclosures by public officials -- including personal finances, campaign accounts and business transactions with public agencies.

  • do it yourself salary investigation

    -- The size of any public employee's paycheck is public information. Ask at your city hall or county courthouse.

    -- Past years' pay for any state worker, including local school employees, can be searched at the State Auditor's Web site. (This data does not include local pay supplements often paid to teachers, judges and others.)

    -- Non-profit groups, since they are tax-exempt, must file tax returns showing top salaries and other spending. The groups must make recent returns available to the public on request. Guidestar.com also lets you look up a group's three most recent returns online for free.

    -- Publicly traded companies must report pay for executives and boards of directors to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which offers an online search. Select a company and look for its DEF 14A report.