SF Subway System’s Highest-Paid Employee Doesn’t Work There Anymore

by Dimitrios Halikias

The San Jose Mercury News reports that the San Francisco Bay Area Transit system (BART, San Francisco’s light-rail system) paid $330,000 in 2012 to Dorothy Dugger, making Dugger the tax-payer funded agency’s highest-paid employee. Unfortunatey, Dugger has not worked since May of 2011:

Under a lucrative retirement scheme, Dugger, 57, quietly stayed on the books, burning off nearly 80 weeks of unused vacation time, drawing paychecks and full benefits for more than 19 months after she agreed to quit in May 2011, according to an analysis by this newspaper. By remaining on BART’s payroll, she accrued almost two extra months of vacation, while sitting at home drawing a six-figure salary for unused time off.

By remaining on the BART payroll, Dugger drew $138,000 dollars in benefits and $98,000 dollars in cash, which even covered bonuses for “management” while she sat at home. Staying on the payroll an additional two years also dramatically increased Dugger’s pension, which has reached an annual allowance of $181,000.

On top of that, back in 2011, Dugger received a settlement of almost a million dollars after she threatened to sue BART over an inappropriate attempt to fire her. Dugger was criticized for lackluster performance and weak leadership during her time as BART’s general manager. In early 2011, the agency’s board of directors fired her, but violated a rule regarding public-notice requirements. Dugger threatened to sue, and ultimately agreed to a $920,000 settlement.

The Mercury News provides the following summary of Dugger’s compensation following her May 2011 resignation:

Settlement payment to avert lawsuit, May, 2011: $920,000
Unused vacation time as of May 2011: About 3,100 hours
Gross pay, June 2011 to December 2012: $558,000
Cost to BART for benefits, June 2011 to December 2012: $138,000
Monthly pension payments, beginning January 2013: $15,083

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