Editor’s note: This special report includes three other stories:

Honolulu’s highest-paid city employee isn’t the mayor. It isn’t the police or fire chief either. Not even the prosecuting attorney.

William Goodhue Jr., the city’s acting chief medical examiner, is the highest-paid city employee with an annual salary of $153,852.

The city’s Department of the Medical Examiner “serves the public through the investigation of sudden, unexpected, violent and suspicious deaths,” according to the department’s website. Goodhue joined the department in 2001 following his retirement from the U.S. Army, where he spent 26 years as a pathologist. He has an appointment as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine.

The national average salary for medical examiners varies from city to city. In medium-sized cities with average crime rates, they can earn between $75,000 and $145,000 per year, and in larger cities with higher crime rates, can make upwards of $230,000.

A Civil Beat analysis of 8,4611 Honolulu city employee salaries determined the 50 highest-paid workers. Half of the top 10 are employees of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, including No. 2 on the list, Brian Mckee, the department’s chief information technology officer.

The salary information is based on data as of Sept. 30, 2010, prior to the Oct. 11 swearing in of Mayor Peter Carlisle. Former Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell is included on the list, in the No. 4 spot, with a salary of $136,428, the same salary Carlisle is now earning.

Because municipalities vary from small towns to large metro cities, the national average pay for mayors runs the gamut from the low $30,000s to upwards of $200,000. For example, the mayor of Dallas earns $60,000 a year, the mayor of New York makes $195,000 and the mayor of Los Angeles earns $205,661.

Still, Honolulu’s mayor earns more than Gov. Linda Lingle, who makes $117,312 a year. And at salaries of $118,344, most city department heads also earn more than the state’s governor.

Honolulu’s fire chief, Kenneth Silva, lands in the No. 52 spot with an annual salary of $136,236. That’s the same salary earned by Honolulu Police Department’s police chief, Louis Kealoha, although Kealoha was not included in the salary data provided by the city. (The Police Department is required to release all names except for current and former undercover officers. Determining who should fall under that category remains a subject of discussion between Civil Beat and the city.)

Honolulu’s former acting prosecuting attorney, Douglas Chin, is No. 8 on the list with a salary of $129,312 — which is what newly-elected Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro now makes. Chin, who was recently confirmed as the city’s new acting director, would fall in the No. 9 spot with an annual salary of $126,732.

Here’s a list of the top 50.

Rank Name Title Department Salary
1 William W. Goodhue Acting Medical Examiner C&C of Honolulu $153,852
2 Brian C. Mckee Chief Info Tech Officer Board of Water Supply $147,576
3 Wayne M. Hashiro Manager and Chief Engineer Board of Water Supply $140,004
4 Kirk Caldwell Acting Mayor C&C of Honolulu $136,428
5 Kenneth G. Silva Fire Chief C&C of Honolulu $136,236
6 Robin J. Lerseth Dist Cool Plt Mgr and Oper Board of Water Supply $130,000
7 Rolland J. Harvest Fire Deputy Chief C&C of Honolulu $129,936
8 Douglas S. Chin Acting Prosecuting Attorney C&C of Honolulu $129,312
9 Dean A. Nakano Deputy Mgr and Chief Engineer Board of Water Supply $126,516
10 Janice T. Kemp Chief Human Resources Officer Board of Water Supply $125,064
11 Paul S. Kikuchi Chief Financial Officer Board of Water Supply $125,064
12 Trudi S. Saito Deputy Managing Director C&C of Honolulu $120,120
13 Franklin D. Pacarro Acting First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney C&C of Honolulu $119,376
14 Gordon J. Bruce Director of Information Technology C&C of Honolulu $118,344
15 Lester K. Chang Director of Parks & Recreation C&C of Honolulu $118,344
16 Jeoffrey S. Cudiamat Director of Facility Maintenance & Chief Engineer C&C of Honolulu $118,344
17 Gail Haraguchi Director of Customer Services C&C of Honolulu $118,344
18 James H. Ireland Director of Emergency Services C&C of Honolulu $118,344
19 Rix Maurer Director of Budget & Fiscal Services C&C of Honolulu $118,344
20 Debbie K. Morikawa Director of Community Services C&C of Honolulu $118,344
21 Carrie K. Okinaga Corporation Counsel C&C of Honolulu $118,344
22 Noel T. Ono Director of Humans Resources C&C of Honolulu $118,344
23 Sidney A. Quintal Director of Enterprise Services C&C of Honolulu $118,344
24 Timothy E. Steinberger Director of Environmental Services C&C of Honolulu $118,344
25 David K. Tanoue Director of Planning & Permitting C&C of Honolulu $118,344
26 Wayne Y. Yoshioka Director of Transportation Services C&C of Honolulu $118,344
27 George Gusman Chief Legal Counsel Board of Water Supply $115,008
28 Christopher T. Van Marter Deputy Prosecuting Attorney C&C of Honolulu $114,288
29 Melvin N. Kaku Director of Emergency Management C&C of Honolulu $113,160
30 Bernice Mau City Clerk Honolulu Legislative $112,428
31 Charmaine Doran OCS Director Honolulu Legislative $112,427
32 Edwin Young City Auditor Honolulu Legislative $112,427
33 Richard T. Haru Deputy Director of Parks & Recreation C&C of Honolulu $112,308
34 Kathleen A. Kelly First Deputy Corporation Counsel C&C of Honolulu $112,308
35 Collins Lam Deputy Director C&C of Honolulu $112,308
36 Manuel S. Lanuevo Deputy Director of Environmental Services C&C of Honolulu $112,308
37 Ernest Y. Martin Deputy Director of Community Services C&C of Honolulu $112,308
38 Hubert P. Minn Deputy Director of Enterprise Services C&C of Honolulu $112,308
39 George N. Miyamoto Deputy Director of Facility Maintenance C&C of Honolulu $112,308
40 Mark K. Oto Deputy Director of Budget & Fiscal Services C&C of Honolulu $112,308
41 Sandra Sagisi (Moser) Deputy Director of Customer Services C&C of Honolulu $112,308
42 Robert M. Sumitomo Deputy Director C&C of Honolulu $112,308
43 Sharon A. Thom Deputy Director of Transportation Services C&C of Honolulu $112,308
44 Richard F. Torres Assistant Transit Project Officer C&C of Honolulu $112,308
45 Diane T. Kawauchi Deputy Corporation Counsel C&C of Honolulu $112,000
46 Don S. Kitaoka Deputy Corporation Counsel C&C of Honolulu $106,621
47 Lynne Y. Uyema Deputy Prosecuting Attorney C&C of Honolulu $104,664
48 Armina A. Ching Deputy Prosecuting Attorney C&C of Honolulu $104,016
49 Ivan Kaisan Assistant OCS Director Honolulu Legislative $103,440
50 Nora W. Garrod Deputy Prosecuting Attorney C&C of Honolulu $102,780

The salary report was based on data as of Sept. 30, 2010 and was run on Oct. 14, 2010.

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