NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
Ever wonder who the highest paid state employee is?
First guess might be Governor Bill Haslam. That guess would be wrong.
The highest paid Tennessee state government workers are people the general public do not know, but their responsibilities are huge.
Here is one way to find out who they are and what they make.
If you go the state's Web site TN.gov and type the word "salaries" into the search bar, a few more clicks will get you to a page called "State Employee Salary Search Results."
At the top, you will see in the Treasury Department someone named George Brakebill. Those who know him call him Michael.
You will find his salary is $21,780 per month. Multiply that by 12 to get a yearly salary of $261,360.
The Web site lists Brakebill as the chief investment officer for the State of Tennessee. He is responsible for overseeing around $50 billion in state investments.
The bulk of it is the state's $42 billion retirement fund for more than 300,000 current and former state government employees.
Excluding higher education, the second highest salaried state employee is Darin Gordon.
He is officially a deputy commissioner in the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, but he is known as the head of the state's Medicaid program, TennCare.
Gordon makes $21,674 monthly as it is listed on the Web site. Taken out to 12 months, that figure is just above $260,000 yearly.
Gordon is responsible for overseeing TennCare's $9 billion plus budget that is more than a quarter of the entire state budget. The agency provides healthcare for about 1.2 million lower income Tennesseans.
Those close to the chief investment officer and the TennCare director said the two could go to the private sector "in a heartbeat" and earn much more.
One colleague in state government described Brakebill as a "rock star" in the area of public investment.
A worker under Gordon said the TennCare head is considered "one of the best state Medicaid directors" in the country.
As for Governor Bill Haslam's salary, it is $182,000 yearly, but he gives it all back to the state.