Maryland salary database reveals top-paid state employees

Much has been made recently about proposed pay increases for some Maryland’s politicians, but even the highest-earning elected officials don’t come close to the top of the state-employee income scale.

Gov. Martin O’Malley’s 2012 income of $150,000 was just a fraction of more than $2 million that Terps football coach Randy Edsall and men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon each pulled in, according to an updated state salary database made available by Maryland officials under a Public Information Act request.

Maryland coaches are paid by the school's athletic department, which draws revenue from shared conference earnings and student fees. 

O’Malley and lawmakers in the Maryland General Assembly could receive a salary hike in 2014 under a couple of pending proposals. By 2018, the governor’s salary would increase to $180,000 and the state’s part-time legislators would see their pay jump to more than $50,000 under proposals by two separate independent commissions.

But they’d still make less than hundreds of state workers, primarily physicians at the University System of Maryland and the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Maryland’s top wage-earners outside of collegiate sports were University of Maryland doctors.

At the School of Medicine, dean and vice president of medical affairs Dr. E. Albert Reece made $796,184. The Medical Center’s chief of cardiac surgery, Dr. Bartley P. Griffith, made $792,336 and chairman of the department of surgery, Dr. Stephen Bartlett, made $752,326.

Maryland’s top wage-earners outside of collegiate sports were University of Maryland doctors.

-- Check out the salaries database at

Mike Lurie, a spokesman for the University System of Maryland, said not all of the physicians’ six-figure incomes came from public money. In fact, he said about two-thirds of their salaries came from private sources, including money from their practices with University of Maryland Faculty Physicians, Inc.

“Given that these doctors are training the majority of new surgeons and other physicians who will practice in the state of Maryland, it is of paramount importance that the most highly skilled and experienced medical professionals serve in this role,” Lurie said.

Some 1,700 state employees earn more than the governor, including many of Maryland’s agency heads. Among them are University of Maryland, Baltimore President Dr. Jay A. Perman, who made $789,565; Paul Wiedefeld, CEO of the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, who made $260,859; and Michael J. Frenz, director of the Maryland Stadium Authority, who made $249,332.

Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, who runs the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, made $165,776.

The state’s top law enforcement and legal minds made sizable salaries. Court of Appeals former chief judge, Robert M. Bell, who retired in 2012, made $189,821. Maryland State Police, Col. Marcus Brown, made $156,676. Both Paul DeWolfe, the Maryland’s top public defender, and Emmet C. Davitt, state prosecutor, made about $140,000.

The money paid to the Terps coaches included bonuses and other earnings promised in their contracts for radio and television appearances. Edsall’s base salary was $400,000. Turgeon’s was $420,000 and Maryland’s women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese’s was $382,880.

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