One of the top earners in St. Clair County government received a salary increase of more than $29,000 in the past year -- boosting her pay about 28 percent to more than $133,000.
Grants Department Director Debra Moore said the pay increase was due to "tremendously larger responsibility" and longer hours, but the additional effort was worth it to serve county residents.
She declined to comment further until the News-Democrat contacted her supervisor, County Administrator Dan Maher.
Here's the top five wage earners in each county for 2012:
St. Clair County
* State's Attorney Brendan Kelly -- $165,048
* Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy James Lay -- $138,891
* Grants Department Director Debra Moore -- $133,112
* County Administrator Dan Maher -- $124,014
* MidAmerica Airport Director Tim Cantwell -- $122,014
* State's Attorney Thomas Gibbons -- $166,525
* Public Defender John Rekowski -- $149,864
* Highway Department Engineer Gary Stahlhut --$123,376
* County Administrator Joseph Parente --$112,324
* IT Director Patrick Morrison Sr. -- $112,179
Moore said she could be interviewed again after the News-Democrat talked to Maher.
Maher could not be reached for comment Friday about Moore's new responsibilities.
Moore earned $103,989 in 2011 compared to $133,112 in 2012, according to county records obtained by the News-Democrat through the Freedom of Information Act. The News-Democrat findings stem from analyzing the earnings of 2,229 public employees and elected officials working for St. Clair and Madison counties in 2012.
It wasn't all roses for top earners in St. Clair County. MidAmerica St. Louis Airport Director Tim Cantwell's earnings dropped from $140,069 to $122,014 in the past year. The $18,055 drop in pay equates to a 13 percent loss from 2011.
The top earners in both counties were state's attorneys, whose salaries are set by state law.
St. Clair County Sheriff's Chief Deputy James Lay was second in the county in earnings. Lay earned $88,884 in regular pay and $50,007 in overtime earnings.
The top elected officials in each county was not within their county's top 15 earners in 2012. In terms of pay, St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern ranked 16th and Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan ranked 23rd.
Kern's earnings slightly rose from $97,907 in 2011 to $99,077 in 2012, but wage increases for other employees caused him to drop from the 10th highest paid employee or elected official in the county. Dunstan earned $94,482 in 2011 and $94,578 in 2012.
Overall, Madison County spent $2.2 million more in wages and employed an additional 235 people in the past year compared to 2011. The county spent more than $45 million total to employ 1,179 people in 2012.
St. Clair County spent about $635,000 less in wages and employed 61 fewer people in 2012 compared to 2011. In 2012, the county spent about $39 million to employ 1,050 people.
While the amount of overtime pay dropped in Madison County from abut $456,000 to nearly $358,000 (a $98,000 difference) in the past year, overtime pay increased $179,000 in St. Clair County from 2011 to 2012. St. Clair County spent nearly $521,000 in overtime pay in 2012.
A majority of overtime awarded in St. Clair County pays employees within the Sheriff's Department. However, the department only had an increase of $24,000 in overtime pay in 2012. The remaining $155,000 of last year's overtime pay is spread throughout the county's departments.
Contact reporter Daniel Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2501.