State Auditor Stacey Pickering told State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright that the hiring of Deputy State Superintendent John Porter at a salary of $195,000 per year violated the law in a letter on May 18. The Mississippi State Personnel Board notified Mr. Pickering of the violation after Mr. Porter's salary appeared on this website Monday. The letter is posted below.
Mr. Pickering stated that the law prevents any employee in the executive branch from earning a salary greater than 150% of the Governor's salary. Governor Phil Bryant's salary is $122,160 per year. The maximum salary allowed under Section 25-3-91(1) of the Mississippi Code is $183,240. The State Superintendent of Education is exempt from that salary restriction but the State Auditor and MSPB said the restriction applies to MDE employees. Mr. Pickering said his office will move to recover all overpayments to Mr. Porter and recover from Dr. Wright's bond if necessary.