Editorials say King's salary too high

John O'Brien Dec. 16, 2009, 1:35pm


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline) - Now that he is the highest paid state attorney general, Alabama's Troy King is receiving some backlash over his $168,000 salary.

When California Attorney General Jerry Brown's pay was cut 18 percent to $151,127 earlier this month, it made King the highest paid at his position. Two editorials in Alabama say King should voluntarily take a paycut.

Earlier this year, King refused a raise. Because of state law, the attorney general's salary goes up when justices on the state Supreme Court receive raises.

"King is paid an unseemly sum to serve as a relatively poor state's attorney general," an editorial in the Birmingham News says.

"What's needed is a serious salary study for the state of Alabama and an effort to get officials' paychecks in line with those of other states and with our state's overall economic picture.

"We don't know exactly what figure would be fair, but we know paying a King's ransom for an attorney general in Alabama isn't right, no matter who holds the office."

The Huntsville Times says King should take a "big" paycut.

"King had nothing to do with the law that sets his salary, but the Legislature is unlikely to cut his pay unless he makes a persuasive case that it should," the editorial says.

"Public service usually carries with it the notion of financial sacrifice (I could be making a lot more money as a private attorney ....). The taxpayers should expect that from King."

The Huntsville Times says King's salary should be $134,232, three times the median household income in the state.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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