Bromwell may earn $250,000 at new job


State Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell will get a pay package that could be worth more than $250,000 a year when he takes over the top job at the state Injured Workers Insurance Fund in the next few weeks.

IWIF board Chairman Daniel E. McKew formally announced yesterday that Bromwell, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, had been chosen as president of the fund.

He said the pay package included a base salary of $175,000, a bonus of 25 percent or more, based on fund performance, a $30,000 car allowance and annual contributions to a retirement plan.

McKew said Bromwell, a Baltimore County Democrat, is expected to start his new job by mid-May or June 1. He is expected to step down from his Senate seat before then.

Bromwell will replace Preston D. Williams who was fired by the IWIF board last month. IWIF officials, responding to a public records request, disclosed this week that Williams will get 15 months pay, a little less than $220,000, under the terms of his severance agreement.

They declined to disclose any other details of the severance package, saying it is not a public record. Williams has declined to comment on his departure.

IWIF, created by the legislature in 1914, competes with private insurance companies to sell workers' compensation insurance to Maryland businesses. About 23,000 businesses buy their coverage, which is required under state law, from IWIF.

McKew said Bromwell's pay package is virtually identical to the one Williams had.

He declined to disclose the amount of the annual contribution to a retirement fund, but IWIF officials had previously indicated that Williams' contract included a $25,000 annual retirement fund contribution.

Under the deal, Bromwell's total package could reach almost $275,000 a year. McKew said the bonus will depend on the fund's reaching performance goals each year.

A legislator since 1983, Bromwell was set to become IWIF's chief executive more than a year ago but changed his mind at the last minute.

The IWIF board, which includes several Bromwell allies, then voted to give Williams the job. Williams, a career insurance executive, was second in command at the time.

McKew said Bromwell was chosen quickly because the board decided to take another look at the candidates who had been under consideration the previous time.

"Fortunately, Senator Bromwell remained interested and agreed to accept our offer," McKew said.

He noted Bromwell's long experience in the legislature and his oversight of IWIF as qualifications for the job.

Bromwell said he was looking forward to working with McKew and the rest of the board "solidifying the profitability of the company."

McKew played down yesterday recent comments from some legislators that morale at IWIF had reached a low point.

"I don't think it's quite as bad as has been portrayed," he said, adding that annual performance reviews had apparently "caused a little bit of a stir."

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