Former State Sen. Randy Gardner, who was picked by Gov. Mike DeWine to lead the Department of Higher Education, is currently the highest paid member of the new administration.
Gardner will receive a base salary of $190,008, which is more than $100,000 higher than the average $87,600 salary he made as a state senator, and nearly $15,000 more than the $176,115 salary his predecessor made.
State pensions are factored on the highest three years of pay, meaning if Gardner can hold down his current position for three years, his pension will be based solely on his time running the Department of Higher Education.
Gardner has been in Ohio politics since 1985 as either a state representative or senator, but was apparently a high-school teacher before entering the political scene.
The numbers were obtained by Cleveland.com, and show that Gardner will make more than both DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who are paid $154,248 and $176,676 respectively. Husted’s salary is higher because he was tapped to lead InnovateOhio, a new state agency housed in the Governor’s Office. As such, he can receive the salary for that position in lieu of the lieutenant governor’s salary.
The only other cabinet-level officials who will make more than Husted are Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Director Stephanie McCloud, who will receive a $184,995 salary, and Office of Budget and Management Director Kim Murnieks, who will make $177,008.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background Photo “Ohio Capitol” by Alexander Smith. CC BY-SA 3.0.