Several Aides To Illinois Governor Paid $200,000 / Yr.

Want to make good money?  Become an aide at the Illinois governor’s office.

The former governor of Hawaii Linda Lingle is making more money as an aide to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner than she did when she oversaw the Aloha State.

The Illinois Governor’s office, along with payroll records filed by the state comptroller, show governor’s aide Linda Lingle will receive $60,000 for a state contract running from April to June, but after that she will go on the state payroll as an employee with an annual salary of $198,000.

The top paid aide in Illinois is Beth Purvis, who is being paid $250,000 as the Governor’s education czar.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that Olin “Trey” Childress III, a former chief operating officer for the state of Georgia, is making $198,000 annually.

Rauner’s chief of staff, Mike Zolnierowicz, is getting $180,000 yearly.

The governor has been paying Donna Arduin $30,000 per month on a four-month contract to serve as a budget adviser, writes the Post-Dispatch.  Per year, that would be $360,000.

Arduin previously worked for Republican governors in California, Florida and Texas, and is nearing the end of her four-month contract.

(Updated article)

5 thoughts on “Several Aides To Illinois Governor Paid $200,000 / Yr.

  1. The issue I have with articles like this is that there is no real context provided. I’ll give you an example. Here in California, there are a lot of articles that provide essentially a blanket condemnation of the salaries and benefits of government employees, regardless of whether they are state or local. The reality though, the context of the situation, is that for the most part local government employees are compensated at a level that is significantly higher than that of state employees in California. So, too, the pension “giveaways” of fifteen years ago primarily happened at the local level in California — with the exception of public safety employees at the state level.

    My point? If local governments in Illinois are paying their “public servants” exorbitant salaries, to attract good people, state government, including the Governor, have to do the same. There is this incredibly unfortunate dynamic at work in public sector employment — governments end up competing against each other for good people, the “public servants” lose sight of what it means to serve and instead look for the biggest dollar, and the system just gets more and more screwed up.

    I don’t disagree that what these advisors are getting paid may be unreasonable, but there’s a larger context that would provide actual meaning to the numbers.

    1. You make some good points about context compared to city and county government.

      I found a website that gives “average pay” per department with the state (Illinois). “Average pay” per department is between $50,000 to $70,000.

      The original article states that when aide Linda Lingle was governor of Hawaii, she was paid about $117,000 – whereas she will get $198,000 as an aide to the Illinois governor.

      President Obama gets paid $400,000.

      In 2012, the Governor of Illinois was paid 179,000. If it is still the same that means the aides are getting paid more than the governor…?!

      As of 2010, Illinois state legislators made $67,836 per year.

      It would take some serious “data mining” and research to find local salaries, though.

      Let me know if you find something…lol.

      1. Actually, in California, the State Controller has an on-line database for all government employees in California, state and local. ( And the Sacramento Bee has a similar database. And because civil service employee salaries are typically set in a different manner than those of elected officials, it’s not uncommon for aides and high level employees who work for elected officials to make more. The California Legislature is filled with staffers who make more than the electeds. I make more than the elected official I work for but my salary isn’t close to what people make in similar positions in local government.

      2. BTW, I did find this website, which should answer some of your questions:

        It seems to have the highest local government salaries in Illinois. For the most part, all of the local salaries in Illinois are less than what the governor’s aides are getting paid at the state level.

        One outrageous exception: The Chicago Superintendent of Police got paid $310,000 / yr. in 2011.

        I stand by the article, because I think the taxpayers of Illinois deserve to know how much government officials are getting paid and where their money’s going…

      3. Absolutely agree people should have this information. It bothers me at times that my salary is public information but it’s better that there is sunshine on all of this than the alternative. Here in California, local governments have been competing with each other and upper management salaries as a result are ridiculous.

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