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California attorney general paid less than several city attorneys

March 19, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris will be paid a salary of $143,571 in 2013.
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris will be paid a salary of $143,571 in… (Rich Pedroncelli / AP )

California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris is the top prosecutor in the most populous state in the nation, but her counterparts in six other states, including Tennessee and Alabama were paid more last year, a state salary survey has found.

The California attorney general’s salary was also less than the pay received by the city attorneys of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento.

The survey was conducted by the staff of the California Citizens Compensation Commission in preparation for a meeting Thursday at which it will consider whether to provide pay raises to the governor, legislators, attorney general and other statewide constitutional officers.

Harris was paid $151,127 last year, before a 5% pay cut took effect in December. In comparison, the attorney generals in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington, New York, Tennessee and Alabama were paid more in 2012. The highest-paid was the attorney general of New York, who received $179,000.

The salaries paid last year to the city attorneys of the five largest California municipalities ranged from $214,000 in Los Angeles to $198,000 in San Diego.

The pay disparity is greater if you consider that Harris’ salary this year is $143,571.

"The fact that the attorney general is paid less than the starting salary at a large law firm is just amazing," said Commission Chairman Thomas Dalzell.

Still, Dalzell doubted there will be enough votes on the commission to approve pay raises this year, in part because there are two vacancies on the seven-member panel.


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