The head of Texas’ prison system has given significant pay increases to top officials, months after his own large pay hike came under fire from prison employees, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Brad Livingston awarded raises of 8 to 23 percent to division directors at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The Legislature earlier this year gave Livingston a 39 percent pay raise, from $186,300 to $260,000. In total, the raises for Livingston’s executive team will cost more than $250,000 a year.
The newspaper obtained the figures through the state open records law. At the Department of Criminal Justice and several other agencies, many top officials make more money than the $150,000 a year paid to Gov. Rick Perry. A spokesman said the pay increases were deserved and necessary “to attract talented professionals.” But Brian Olsen, head of a union of correctional officers, says the salary hikes make him “want to puke” and compared them to the much more modest increases of less than $2,000 a year paid to guards.