Richard Cordray (D)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline)- In the three months Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has been in office, the Democrat has increased his department's payroll 4.6 percent.

The increase in payroll comes amid a state cash-crunch and calls by fellow Democrat Gov. Ted Strickland to cut costs in the face of declining revenues.

The Cleveland (Ohio) Plain Dealer reported Monday that most of the payroll increase is because Cordray, the former state treasurer, hired 42 people from his previous office to join him at the AG's office. He reportedly gave all but two of the transplants pay raises.

The newspaper noted that between Jan. 3, and April 11, Cordray hired 131 people, while 79 employees either quit or were fired during that period. The office's payroll per two-week pay period increased from $4.4 million in early January to $4.7 million.

Since the attorney general's office is not under the control of the governor, Cordray is not bound by Strickland's orders to cut costs.

Even so, Cordray was quoted by the newspaper as saying he understands the state is short on cash, and he has done his part to help the state make ends meet.

The attorney general said he has permanently eliminated 43 positions and has lowered the top end pay for the office from $149,000 to $125,000 a year.

"We have eliminated a number of vacancies," Cordray said. "We've had to absorb budget cuts, so we are not going to fill some of those."

Cordray won election in November to complete the two years remaining on former Attorney General Marc Dann's term. Dann resigned a year ago amid a sexual harassment scandal.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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