Montgomery County’s highest paid employees in 2017: I-Team Payroll Project

Credit: Denise Mangen

Credit: Denise Mangen

Editor’s note: The Dayton Daily News I-Team is gathering payroll data for local governments across our region, as well as state government and higher education, as part of our Payroll Project. You can search Payroll Project data here. We are gathering payroll data for 2017 and will add it to the database as it is collected. If you have a suggestion for our Payroll Project, email I-Team reporter Josh Sweigart at


Montgomery County paid 103 employees more than $100,000 last year, compared to 83 in 2016, according to the I-Team Payroll Project searchable database of public employees. 

Local governments make payroll with your money, which is why the I-Team has assembled and made available a searchable database of pay for public employees.

County Administrator Joe Tuss was the county’s highest-paid worker last year with compensation totaling $202,408. This is up from his $197,308 gross compensation in 2016.

RELATED: Dayton’s highest paid employees in 2017

The county's highest paid employee in 2016 was Lee Lehman, the chief deputy coroner who retired and cashed out sick and vacation leave to get a check for $193,000 and bring his gross pay to $374,194. He was then rehired and made $156,960 last year, making him the county's 14th highest paid worker.

An I-Team investigation last year found the ability to cash out unused sick and vacation leave is a rare perk in the private sector, though local governments are on the hook for tens of millions of dollars worth of these payments.

SPECIAL REPORT: Taxpayers on hook for $444M in unused state worker leave

The 10 highest paid Montgomery County employees in 2017 were: 

1. Joe Tuss, county administrator: $202,408

2. Kent Harshbarger, coroner: $195,958

3. Brian Martin, executive director of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission: $181,100

4. Bryan Casto, coroner’s office forensic fellow: $179,570

5. Susan Brown, coroner’s office forensic pathologist: $179,070

6. Robert Shott, coroner’s office forensic pathologist: $178,900

7. Russell Uptegrove, coroner’s office forensic pathologist: $175,290

8. Helen Jones-Kelley, executive director of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board: $171,094

9. Michael Dohn, Public Health medical director: $170,932

10. Thomas Kelley Jr., assistant county administrator: $169,214


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