Ousted San Diego Port CEO received over $90,000 a month in 2014

Today, Transparent California released 2014 public employee compensation data — complete with names, pay, and benefits — for the 26 largest special districts in San Diego County, representing over 95 percent of all San Diego County special district workers.

Former Port of San Diego CEO Wayne Darbeau received $613,774 in total compensation for less than seven months of employment, making him the fourth highest-compensated San Diego County special district worker. Despite being fired in July after reports of nepotism surfaced, Darbeau was still permitted to collect a full yearly salary, plus severance pay.

Elected officials betray the public interest by allowing employment contracts like Darbeau’s, according to Transparent California’s research director Robert Fellner.

“It is unconscionable that unethical behavior is rewarded with lucrative severance packages, at taxpayer expense.”

The average San Diego special district paid $121,543 in total compensation for full-time, year round employees.

The three San Diego special districts with the highest average compensation package for full-time, year round employees were:

  1. North County Fire Protection District: $175,138
  2. San Diego County Water Authority: $152,956
  3. Valley Center Municipal Water District: $147,037

Average compensation for full-time employees of San Diego special districts


The five highest-compensated San Diego special district workers were:

  1. Former Palomar Health CEO Michael Covert: $791,973
  2. Incoming Palomar Health CEO Robert Hemker: $748,998
  3. Tri-City Medical COO Casey Fatch: $633,980
  4. San Diego Unified Port CEO Wayne Darbeau: $613,774
  5. San Diego Metropolitan Transit System CEO Paul Chester Jablonski: $510,753

Compensation is defined as total wages plus the employer cost of retirement and health benefits. Full-time employees are defined as those receiving a salary equal or greater to the “annual salary minimum” reported.

With the addition of San Diego’s special district data, Transparent California now has 2014 compensation data from over 450 special districts statewide, with further special district data to be posted in the coming weeks.

To view the entire dataset in a searchable and downloadable format, visit TransparentCalifornia.com

To schedule an interview with Transparent California, please contact Robert Fellner at 559-462-0122 or Robert@TransparentCalifornia.com.

Transparent California is California’s largest and most comprehensive database of public sector compensation and is a project the Nevada Policy Research Institute, a nonpartisan, free-market think tank. Learn more at TransparentCalifornia.com.

Categories: 2016, Press Releases

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