News Story

Flint Waste Water Department Staffer Paid $117k Last Year

69.28 hours per week for 52 weeks; only union president paid more

The city of Flint’s waste water treatment employees are among the best paid in the city due to overtime-driven pay given to a handful of city employees who are involved in water pollution control.

For example, Brian Sharon was the city’s second-highest paid employee in 2017 with a pay of $117,590. The city identified him as an operator foreman in the Water Pollution Control facility. The city claims on its website that, "Municipal wastewater treatment is the single most important factor for insuring the water quality of the Flint River."

Sharon’s regular salary was $54,112, but his total pay was more than double that, thanks to $59,391 in overtime pay, according to salary data received in a Freedom of Information Act request. To earn over $117,000, Sharon would have had to work on average 69.28 hours a week for all 52 weeks of 2017.

Several other employees in the department were paid a significant amount of overtime pay. Bradley Farrar, who, like Sharon, was identified as an operator, made $107,751 in 2017. His regular pay was $56,351, and he made $42,348 in overtime.

Michael Thompson Jr., another operator, made $96,039 in 2017, with $30,125 of that coming in overtime.

Kyle Fielder, a senior operator, had a gross pay of $82,162 in 2017, with $28,140 coming from overtime.

City of Flint Public Information Officer Candice Mushatt didn’t return multiple emails seeking information on the department.

Donald Lewis, the president of the AFSCME Council 25, Local 1799, which represents supervisors and managers in the city government, was Flint’s highest-paid employee. He made $148,979 in gross pay in 2017.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is reviewing compensation of municipal officials throughout the state. Michigan Capitol Confidential reviews salary information by putting in open records requests to municipalities as well as information from OpenTheBooks.com, which is a nonprofit that tracks salary data. OpenTheBooks.com tracks salary information for nearly every government worker in Michigan and other states.