The final 10 members of Gov. Nikki Haley’s cabinet will earn no more than their predecessors, according to a state panel that approves pay.
The State Agency Head Salary Commission approved new cabinet pay Tuesday morning, and all new cabinet hires will earn the same pay as their predecessors. Agency heads have not had a raise in five years, according to the commission.
Robert St. Onge will earn the most, $146,000, leading the Department of Transportation.
The other salaries:
Department of Juvenile Justice director Margaret Barber, $114,942,
Parks, Recreation and Tourism head Duane Parrish, $112,504,
Department of Insurance director David Black, $112,407,
Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse director Robert Toomey, $112,082, and
Department of Motor Vehicles director Kevin Shwedo, $110,504.
Three cabinet directors will earn the minimum recommended amount for their position:
William Byars at the Department of Correction, $144,746;
Lillian Koller at the Department of Social Services, $144,746; and
James Etter at the Department of Revenue, $130,063.
The commission's only disagreement was over the $92,917 pay of Department of Probation, Pardon and Parole director Kela Thomas.
State Rep. Leon Howard, D-Richland, a commission member, complained that the only African-American cabinet appointment was paid the least and the agency that she heads also faces consolidation into the Department of Corrections.
Howard has criticized Haley for a lack of racial diversity among her cabinet and executive staff hires.