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New Orleans, La. -
In 2012, Dr. Peter Galvan paid himself $230,000. That's more than the combined salaries at the Coroner's Office from 12 years earlier. In 2000, Galvan's first year as coroner, he and his entire staff made a total of 212 thousand dollars.
Since 2000, salaries in the Coroner's Office have grown 619 percent.
Galvan has added high-paying positions, such as an executive director and chief financial officer, and the salaries of those positions have also skyrocketed.
In 2007, Galvan's executive director made $80,769. In 2012, the position paid $122,399. That's a difference of $41,630 in five years.
Galvan hired CFO Kim Kelly in 2006 and paid her an annual salary of $70,212. In 2012, Kelly had a base salary of $104,000. Sources in the Coroner's Office say she only works three days a week.
Galvan's chief deputy coroner, Michael DeFatta, made $102,000 in 2006. His salary has jumped by $75,000, to $177,182, in just six years.
His chief death investigator, Mark Lombard, went from $47,700 in 2005 to $107,268 in 2012.
As we've shown, the increase of salaries has coincided with an increase in money going to the Coroner's Office. After voters passed a property tax millage in 2004, Galvan started to receive more money. So he hired more employees and gave himself and his higher-ranking staff large raises.
That's brought the total salaries from $212,000 in 2000 to a 2012 total of $1.5 million. When you factor in payments for unused vacation and sick leave and overtime for some employees, the total payroll topped $2 million.
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