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Salaries For Secretaries More Than Expected

(LITTLE ROCK)  The fifteen members of the Governor’s cabinet team got larger raises than what was expected, that’s according to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s office in an announcement on Friday.

The heads of two state agencies received larger salaries that began starting July 1 than the pay levels Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s office announced they would receive when the governor revealed his picks to be secretaries of 15 Cabinet-level departments.

The errors were corrected sometime last week after being addressed to the Govern’r’s chief spokesman. Funds will not be recouped from the mistake, but the salaries will be at the reduced level moving forward,” he said.

The Republican governor’s reorganization reduced the number of agencies reporting to him from 42 to 15, effective July 1. July 1 also was the start of fiscal 2020 and when the higher salaries took effect.

The annual salary of Amy Fecher increased from $125,671 to $162,153 with her promotion. She went from a dual position — executive vice president for operations at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and chief transformation officer for the governor — to secretary of the Department of Transformation and Shared Services, according to state records.

Fecher is one of 58 state employees — beyond those who work at the state’s colleges and universities — who received pay raises of at least $10,000 in fiscal 2020, according to state records. Hutchinson’s office said May 22 that Fecher’s salary would be increased to $155,916 a year.

The annual pay for Nate Todd increased from $122,954 to $134,640 when he went from director of the Department of Veterans Affairs to secretary of the reorganized agency, according to state records. Hutchinson’s office said May 22 that his salary would be increased to $132,000.

“The Governor directed that any merit pay be included in the final salaries of all secretaries, not in addition to,” said his spokesman, J.R. Davis, in a written statement. “Due to human error, two Secretaries, Fecher and Todd, received merit pay in addition to their new salaries.”

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