At the time, Grits pointed out that pay raises to administrators at DPS were at least as egregious and ill-timed as those at TYC, though the latter agency receives both more media scrutiny and less respect and deference than DPS (for a variety of reasons, some more justified than others). In yesterday's paper, the story by the Statesman's Brenda Bell began thusly:
When Gov. Rick Perry made Steve McCraw the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety in 2009, only a dozen DPS employees earned $100,000 a year or more at the notoriously tight-fisted agency.DPS went from 12 employees making more than $100K to 73 in just three years time, but when eleven TYC administrators got raises, Senator Whitmire called it "unbelievable, irresponsible, arrogant and outrageous," insisting:
Now there are 73, reflecting an enormous growth in DPS management positions and pay since McCraw, an ex-FBI agent who formerly led the governor’s Homeland Security office, took charge of the department in August 2009.
Meanwhile, the more than 3,500 officers at the largest statewide law enforcement agency — most of them uniformed Highway Patrol troopers — have seen little increase in their base pay, which is significantly below that of most big-city police departments in Texas.
"Those raises need to be rescinded, the money needs to be paid back, and we need to get the comptroller, the state auditor's office and the (attorney general) involved to find out how this could happen."By contrast, when DPS increased the number of administrators making more than $100K by a factor of six, from 12 to 73, here was Sen. Whtimre's far more reserved assessment:
He also demanded that Scott Fisher, the chairman of the agency's board, resign.
“I’m aware that they’ve hired a large number of high-end employees. I’m not prepared to fault that,” said Whitmire. “I have confidence in Steve McCraw — I know he’s trying to professionalize the department.”For my part, I would have considered it justified if Sen. Whitmire reacted the same way to DPS administrator raises as to those at TYC. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, etc., plus if education and women's health care are getting cut, why shouldn't DPS? The agency has become bloated with administrator salaries at a time when trooper pay has languished and the demands on troopers - particularly as they relate to new homeland security duties - are greater than ever. (If anybody deserves higher salaries, it's the men and women on the front line, not the brass in Austin.)
At the same time, Whitmire said, the stagnation in trooper pay “needs to be fixed. It’s a huge morale factor. They know what people (at the executive level) make.”
Why the double standard? Where is the outrage? In this supposedly Tea-Party dominated legislature, where are the small-government conservatives when you need them?