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Overpaid? 4,300 Government Lawyers Make More Money than Governors, Report Says

Posted Jun 2, 2011 6:50 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A senator who wants to cut the pay of federal employees to reduce the deficit has gathered some ammunition with a new report on the pay of lawyers and others who work for the government.

According to statistics requested by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., about 77,000 federal employees made more money in 2009 than the governors in the states where they worked, report the Washington Post and the Washington Times.

The higher paid employees included lawyers, air traffic controllers, medical personnel, technology specialists, librarians, park rangers, chaplains and one interior designer.

The report (PDF) found that 4,346 general attorneys working for the federal government took home a higher paycheck than their state governors. The occupation ranked third for the number of employees making more than their governors, trailing medical officers and air traffic controllers.

Other law-related employees making more than state governors included 732 administrative law judges, one law clerk and 56 paralegals. Federal Article III judges were not included in the statistics.

Governor salaries range from $70,000 in Maine to $212,000 in California.

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