According to pay data collected by State Controller John Chiang, in 2010 former Santa Ana City Attorney Joseph Fletcher was the second highest paid city employee behind former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo. Fletcher retired at the end of 2010 with a golden parachute of $142,080 in addition to his $285,000 salary. Fletcher also cashed out months of unused sick and vacation pay that was inflated beyond what he would have normally received due to retroactive enhancements to his contract.
Former City Manager David Ream left in 2011 cashing out months of sick and vacation time in addition to regular salary and benefits. Subsequent to Ream’s departure, the city discovered a $30 million hole in its budget.
Recent reports identify Santa Ana’s Interim City Manager Paul Walters as the highest paid in Orange County.
The Orange County Register’s Terri Sforza has more details here.