Payroll Project: Montgomery County’s 10 highest paid employees

No Montgomery County employee was paid more than $200,000 in 2019. Last year, eight people made more than that, including five at the coroner’s office. Montgomery County Coroner Kent Harshbarger said he had to give his staff raises because of a nationwide shortage of forensic pathologists.

The Dayton Daily News obtained and analyzed payroll data for 29 local counties, cities, townships and other governments, such as the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority and Dayton Metro Library. The Payroll Project is an annual review of local tax-supported payrolls in the Dayton area.

The top earner in Montgomery County in 2020 was Russell Uptegrove, who was paid $275,323 for his work as a forensic pathologist for Montgomery County. He is also the elected coroner in Warren County and did work for two other counties last year. Payments for his work at all four counties topped $600,000.

Montgomery County had 196 employees whose gross compensation exceeded $100,000 last year.

The Dayton Daily News is committed to watching your tax dollars. And employee payroll amounts to the largest expenditure of public funds among local governments.

The 10 highest-paid Montgomery County employees in 2020 were:

1. Russell Uptegrove, coroner’s office forensic pathologist: $275,323

2. Susan Brown, coroner’s office forensic pathologist: $259,462

3. Bryan Casto, coroner’s office forensic fellow $226,936

4. Lee Lehman, coroner’s office chief deputy: $219,960

5. Mary Goolsby, coroner’s office forensic pathologist: $206,660

6. Brian Martin, Miami Valley Regional Planning Council executive director: $206,210

7. Michael Colbert, Montgomery County administrator: $205,736

8. Michael Dohn, Public Health-Dayton & Montgomery County medical director: $202,233

9. Kent Harshbarger, county coroner: $195,992

10. Helen Jones-Kelley, Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board executive director: $193,739

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