RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - Cabinet secretaries in Governor Roy Cooper's administration hadn't been on the job for a full year when they each received a five-figure pay raise, data obtained by WBTV shows.
Each of the nine cabinet secretaries received a ten percent raise—ranging from $13,193 to $21,628—on January 1, 2018. In total, the raises amount to $120,418 in additional salary for the group.
The highest-paid secretary is James Trogdon, who oversees the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Prior to his January raise, Trogdon made $196,352. After receiving his $21,628 raise, Trogdon now makes $217,980.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Mandy Cohen also got a bigger raise than her peers. Records provided by DHHS show she got a raise of $17,500, bringing her annual salary from $175,000 to $192,500. Cohen saw a five-figure raise last July, too, when her salary jumped from $143,100 to $175,000.
July, too, when her salary jumped from $143,100 to $175,000.
The remaining seven secretaries each received raises of either $13,193 or $13,904 to bring their total salary to $145,128 or $152,944, respectively.
The January pay raises authorized by Cooper come after each secretary also received a $1,000 raise in July that each state employee received as a result of legislation approved by the North Carolina General Assembly.
In an emailed statement, Cooper spokeswoman Noelle Talley defended the decision to hand out pay raises for the nine cabinet secretaries.
"Governor Cooper is proud to have appointed such well-qualified leaders for North Carolina and he wants to keep this strong team in place," Talley said. "Cabinet secretaries take on tremendous responsibilities providing services to a state of more than 10 million people, and it's important to minimize turnover and encourage continued leadership in our state agencies."
"Governor Cooper will also keep pushing for fairer salaries for all state employees," she continued.