Salary For New OK TSET Chief Executive Causing Controversy - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

NEWS

Salary For New OK TSET Chief Executive Causing Controversy

Posted: Updated:
[File Photo] [File Photo]
OKLAHOMA CITY -

In a statement Tuesday, the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust or TSET said it had created a new chief executive role and had found the right person to fill it. But controversy over the salary awarded to the position is mounting.

After a $35,000 nationwide search, the trust chose former Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas, who would earn $250,000 a year.

To put her pay in context, the head of the Department of Education makes $120,000. The Attorney General makes $130,000 dollars. The Governor $150,000. Douglas would out-earn all four of them by more than 100,000 dollars. TSET officials said they need to keep executive pay competitive and share the burden of running a large organization.

“We are the largest funder for prevention in our state. We behave like a foundation. We do not get an appropriation from the legislature. We do not get cigarette tax dollars. We do not get state tax dollars,” TSET spokesperson Julie Bisbee said Wednesday. Bisbee added the trust’s board of directors looked at “peer organizations” to stay competitive with pay.

Others, however, have questions about whether the money going to the new CEO salary is being misused. One former lawmaker called the salary “crazy.” Representative John Montgomery said the salary struck him as "substantial" and talks of re-purposing TSET funds during the shortfall had been a "conversation in the background" saying the state "may need to take a second look" at TSET's funds.

Bisbee said she was unaware of any similar conversations about repurposing. She added the trust’s current executive director is eligible for retirement and described Douglas’ position as “a transition” several times during an interview on Wednesday, although she was unable to explain exactly what that meant.

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Politics

Breaking political news & the latest headlines from the state capitol & D.C.

Radars

See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.

Technology

Spend your money wisely with reviews of new tech gadgets & the latest news in technology.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive
Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.