Montgomery County’s highest-paid employees in 2018: Payroll Project

Editor’s note: The Dayton Daily News 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 2018 and will add it to the database as it is collected. If you have a suggestion for our Payroll Project, email Dayton Daily News reporter Josh Sweigart at


Montgomery County had 108 employees make over $100,000 in 2018, up from the 103 employees that passed that threshold in 2017, according to public county records obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

RELATED: Oakwood's highest-paid employees in 2018

Recently retired County Administrator Joseph Tuss kept his spot as the highest paid Montgomery County employee for the second year in a row. Tuss cashed out $134,293 in unused vacation and sick leave when he retired, according to the payroll records.

Dayton Daily News investigation in 2017 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.

RELATED: Taxpayers on hook for $444M in unused state worker leave
Lee Lehman, a chief deputy coroner profiled in the 2017 story because he retired in 2016 and cashed out nearly $200,000 in sick and vacation leave before being rehired by the county, was the 16th highest-paid worker in 2018. Lehman received $166,680 in gross compensation in 2018.

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

 Montgomery County’s 10 highest-paid employees in 2018 were: 

1. Joseph Tuss, county administrator: $277,907

2. James Dare, deputy court administrator: $203,151

3. Kent Harshbarger, coroner: $195,992

4. Bryan Casto, forensic fellow: $190,597

5. Susan Brown, forensic pathologist: $189,997

6. Robert Shott, forensic pathologist: $189,497

7. Brian Martin, executive director of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission: $187,347

8. Russell Uptegrove, forensic pathologist: $185,612

9. Michael Dohn, health department medical director: $184,205

10. Timothy Nolan, office of management and budget director: $180,045

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