Contrary to press reports that he would not be compensated, uncovered Treasury Department documents reveal President Obama’s pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg, received a $120,830 annual salary.
The documents were obtained by the public interest group Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request filed July 20.
Following Judicial Watch’s discovery, Feinberg then released a statement saying he did, indeed, receive the salary, but that he gave the money back.
Feinberg served as “special master for TARP executive compensation” to establish executive compensation levels at companies bailed out by the federal government.
When Obama appointed Feinberg in August 2009, media reported the Washington lawyer would perform his duties “pro bono,” or without pay.
Feinberg is founder and managing partner of the Washington, D.C., firm Feinberg Rozen LLP.
Judicial Watch noted Reuters reported at the time that Feinberg “is receiving no compensation for his role.”
But Judicial Watch said it obtained the Treasury Department’s June 8, 2009, welcome letter to Feinberg congratulating him for being selected “special master of executive compensation” and listing his annual salary at $120,830.
Also, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management issued a “Notification of Personnel Action” dated June 8, 2009, that established Feinberg’s salary level at $120,830.
Judicial Watch said it repeatedly contacted Treasury Press Secretary Mark Paustenbach and Feinberg at both his D.C., law firm and at the Treasury. But neither provided an explanation for the discrepancy.
Paustenbach later contacted WND, however, quoting Feinberg’s statement that the salary was returned.
“I got a check every two weeks that I endorsed and turned back to U.S. Treasury every two weeks,” Feinberg claims. “And I have to pay taxes on the money I didn’t keep – so it actually cost me money to be the special master.”
“This is yet another reason why more of these Obama czars should go through the Senate confirmation process, rather than being simply installed into power by Obama,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Fitton said Judicial Watch “shouldn’t have to pepper the Obama administration with FOIA requests to know what these czars are doing and how much they’re getting paid to do it.”
“More information about Obama’s czars should be part of the public record and be transparent to the American people,” he said.
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