Washington, DC -- There are hundreds and hundreds of government agencies and departments.The focus of this investigation is the US General Services Administration.
The GSA oversees the preservation of historic buildings along with the government's purchase of goods and services. Does it sound like typical nine to five stuff?
Apparently not. Because some workers made $100-thousand in overtime. Our Gannett partners WUSA found a list of employees who made thousands upon thousands of bonuses, overtime and lead pay in 2011. That was the last full year of data to pull from when WUSA started their investigation in the fall of 2012.
There's a paycheck pecking order in the U.S. government. The President makes $400,000 a year. You would think the Vice President would be next. But not so.
An investigation by our Gannett partners, WUSA, found at least six workers in the GSA got bigger government paychecks than the VP and even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
"They absolutely should be explaining," says Congressman Jeff Denhem. He sits on a GSA committee. He wants the government entity to explain the millions in bonsues, unused leave pay and overtime exposed by this data request.
A Washington electrician made the top ten GSA pay list by taking home $115,000 in overtime alone. This investigation identified $8 million in overtime coming from two GSA categories.
"We've got to put a stop to it," adds Denhem.
Nine of the top ten GSA overtime earners identified worked in Washington offices making $75,000 in annual overtime or more. One Washington air conditioning mechanic earned $111,722 in overtime, that's in addition to $15,000 in bonuses and pay differentials, totaling $200,897 in annual pay.
Overtime wasn't the only big paycheck inflater. Several of the top ten highest paid got there because of cashing in their unused leave pay all $7 million of it.
A GSA Spokesperson says, "Under new leadership, GSA has cut bonuses throughout the agency and has put in place greater oversight on all spending. Bonuses had been on the rise over several years and administrations. Under this administration, bonuses are coming down to their lowest levels in five years. GSA pays overtime and leave pay in accordance with all applicable laws. The majority of GSA employees do not receive overtime pay. Those who do earn overtime are eligible employees who work over 8 hours in a day, work over 40 hours in a week, or work on a Sunday or a holiday or an overnight shift."
GSA employees work all over the nation, there are 54 based in North Carolina. 2 Wants To Know looked at the data:
The largest annual leave amount paid out was $10,586 to an industrial operations worker in Matthews. Total salary: $46,269
The biggest bonus paid out was $5,323 to a industrial operations supervisor in Waxhaw. Total salary: $107,783
The most amount of overtime paid to a federal worker in NC was $4,278 to an accountant in Raleigh. Total salary: $122, 538 dollars.