Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Public Safety Perks

Quite a few employees at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety are taking advantage of a $1,000 annual clothing allowance even though they command rather nice salaries.

JJ obtained a roster of employees receiving the allowance through a public records request.  Commissioner Marshall Fisher receives the allowance even though his annual salary is $138,115.  Mississippi Highway Patrol Director Colonel Chris Gillard receives it as well even though his salary is $112,000 and he usually wears a MHP-provided uniform while on duty.  5 employees receive the allowance even though they earn over $100,000 per year.  Posted below is a list of DPS employees who receive the allowance.  The allowance was created for employees such as investigators who must wear professional attire in the performance of their duties.  The allowance does not cover uniforms as they are provided by DPS nor the tailoring used for uniforms to pump up the biceps. However, the records show that it has become somewhat of a perk for the um, suits.  A list of employees who aren't investigators or patrolmen is posted below as well.

James Alexander: Branch Director, $74,000
Kenneth Bailey: Staff Officer, $80,000
Lloyd Barnard: Staff Officer, $86,000
Stephen Beard: Office Director, $63,408
James Brinson: Office Director, $64,908
Kenneth Brown: Bureau Director, $88,633
Ricky Dean: Branch Director, $70,566
Shannon Dearman: Branch Director, $68,000
Kathy Fick: Staff Officer, $86,000
Marshall Fisher: Commissioner: $138,115
Chris Gillard: Director MHP, $112,000
Randy Ginn: Deputy Administrator, $107,750
James Herzog: Bureau Director, $89,000
Charles Hill: Branch Director, $68,000
Jimmy Jordan: Systems Administrator, $101,750
Patrick Munson: Staff Officer, $80,018
Mark McKee: Deputy Administrator, $104,000
Bradley McClendon: Staff Officer, $80,000
Ellis Morrison: Bureau Director, $89,000
Edward Murtaugh: Bureau Director II, $92,999
Lecarus Oliver: Staff Officer, $80,000
John Perkins: Staff Officer, $80,000
Drunnel Phillips: Staff Officer, $80,000
Scott Waterbury: Branch Director, $71,000
Jeffrey Willis: Staff Officer, $76,428
Arthur Wilson, Staff Officer, $86,000


Anonymous said...

This is great! So we clothe them, feed them (whenever they want at the academy), and pay for their transportation to and from work. It's no wonder these people cling on to these jobs with a death grip.

Anonymous said...


I really appreciate your efforts to bring transparency to government spending, but this seems like a stretch. If you want to discuss the merit of the benefit itself, that is fine, but a benefit is offered to employees and those employees utilize that benefit - where's the issue? If DPS offers a work vehicle, should they not use it because they can afford their own car and maintenance? I'm all about shrinking government budgets, but then that conversation should be about the perks themselves, not the employees that use the perks offered to them by their employers.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Kingfish but Fisher's work clothing is damn expensive. When cracking down on everyday law abiding citizens you have to look the part.

Anonymous said...

Working for the guvmint (and power companies to a degree) was a loser deal 50-60 years past. Now it is the only way to go. Thus go the way of all civilizations. Sorry it is ours!

Anonymous said...

"You should try my Tall & Fat stores. No offense." Thornton Melon

Anonymous said...

The cost of tan shirts, armbands and jackboots has skyrocketed under the Trump regime.

Anonymous said...

This allowance is not for uniforms. The uniforms, Smokey bear hats,boots, etc are provided free of charge. The clothing allowance can be used for anything other than “underwear “

Anonymous said...

I agree with 12:31. If the benefit is offered, what quarrel do you have with employees legally availing themselves of it? If you don't like the allowance, then take that issue up. If these people are breaking rules, then call them out. But if the state says they can receive a clothing allowance, then I say they're stupid not to. I would use it if I were employed there.

I mean, how dare they actually use a benefit they are offered?

Alpha Storm said...

I only have one suit and it used for funerials it cost me 500 dollars.

Anonymous said...

I only see one woman in this list. Do we have a bunch of metrosexuals at DPS, or is this allowance only good for belt buckles at Cavender's and PFG Boneheads at Bass Pro?

Fresh Stylin' said...

There's a place on the corner of Highway 80 and Robinson Rd called Suit City that advertises 2 suits for $100. It's such a good price that they painted it permanently on the outside wall. I buy all my suits there, especially when I'm big pimpin'.

These cops are probably going in there and buying 20 suits on the taxpayer's dime. That's just not right!

Anonymous said...

ok i have a question. ive seen people crackin on pfg shirts here and i dont get what the big deal is. i wear them all the time and they look good. you dont have to iron them and there super comfortable. im not a dress up guy but when i wear them i fell like im dressed for any ocassion. so whats wrong about that?

Anonymous said...

As the wife of one of these people shamelessly listed here, I appreciate the comments that if a benefit is offered, why not take advantage of it? He and I both couldn't care less about that "clothing allowance" and haven't touched it. There will always be those who abuse "the system" especially in government positions but there are also those who actually give a damn about what they do. Sometimes I wonder why, especially when he is gone from home so much protecting your damn freedom of speech and well-being, only to have this kind of crap posted. My husband is not an abuser of the system and works much harder than he is paid for. The crappy generalizations made here are sad and narrow-minded. Evidently some of you need something else to think about. As it has been said, go after the one who allowed the fringe benefit before you attack everyone in the department. Will ANY ONE OF YOU TELL ME THAT IF YOUR EMPLOYER OFFERED YOU A SIMILAR BENEFIT YOU WOULDN'T TAKE IT? Let me answer that for you...NO! Metrosexuals? I sincerely hope none of you need help from any of these people you are stomping on. You have no damn idea what is done behind the scenes to keep you and yours safe. I guarantee that not a single one of you would do the job that some of these people do. As I said, there are always those that shouldn't get what they do. And there will always be those that should get more. Find someone else to bitch about or take your griping up somewhere it counts.

Anonymous said...

Troopers usually wear their uniform for court appearances so they really don't need suits, MBI Investigators can catch a deal at Suit City or Fashion Corner (Warren can hook them up with a deal), they hand out belts, boots, BDUs and such at DPS HQ, and the command staff make enough money to buy their own stuff. It seems like the clothing allowance is just another way the state wastes our money. Do other state agencies have a clothing allowance, or is this just another way we coddle our poor mistreated troopers?

Anonymous said...

Wow 4:14, you're such a martyr

Anonymous said...

"he is gone from home so much protecting your damn freedom of speech"

by handing out traffic tickets?

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal with listing the names: In order to spotlight this giveaway of taxpayer dollars, you have to show who's benefiting from it. It's not enough to simply point out that the benefit is out there. Then folks would simply ask, "Oh yeah, what are you talking about with this crap?"

So, first you point out the perk and then you list the beneficiaries of the perk. That's what's known as total transparency. If you don't like that, tough shit.

And for the gal who feels 'my husband is a stand up guy and works harder than anybody'.....bull shit.

Kingfish said...

It is the contention of this website that the policy needs to be changed. There is no reason command staff making over $80,000 a year needs this allowance nor should the state waste money on such extravagance. A Colonel who wears a damn uniform every day and is making $112,000 per year damn sure doesn't need it. The complaint is not with the employees accepting the fringe benefit, its the fact that the fringe benefit is offered above a certain level or pay grade in the first place.

The public certainly has a right to know how law enforcement spends its money but then too often, law enforcement, especially at the state level, has an entitlement mentality and an attitude that it is above public scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

Pay grade is based on rank & time in service. The enforcement Trooper--required to wear uniforms, which are provided for free--earns the same salary as the investigator, etc., w/same rank & time....But an investigator is often required to be in coat & tie or suit & tie. The clothing allowance doesn't touch what it takes to dress decently for the job. Without the clothing allowance, a Trooper who moves out of uniform/enforcement to a position that requires business attire essentially would take a pay cut (and still does take a pay cut, given what $1000 buys these days).

Anonymous said...

You can dress yourself quite nicely for $1000. You don't have to settle for Suit City crap. Let's take two years' worth of allowance since these items should last at least that long:

Navy suit from Spier and Mackay for $400
Grey Hickey Freeman suit from Saks Off 5th on sale for $379
Four oxford cloth dress shirts from Brooks Brothers for $199
Black Park Avenue Captoe Oxford shoes from Allen Edmonds for $425
Black leather belt from Saks Off 5th for $40
Four silk ties from Tie Bar for $80
Alterations $100 - $150
(feel free to Google these items)

So for $1700 you can have two high quality half canvassed suits, a nice pair of goodyear welted shoes, four shirts, four ties and a belt, and still have $300 left over for socks and underwear.

The problem is that most men, especially in Mississippi, don't take pride in their appearance like they should. In fact, many brag about how they don't wear "dress up" clothes. The only nice clothes they have were bought by their wives and are hanging in the back of the closet for special occasions, right next to the Under Armour golf shirt and Dockers they wear to church.

You shouldn't need a special allowance to dress yourself properly. If you're spending your take home pay on nothing but t-shirts, golf shirts, blue jeans, running shoes, and camo, then you're doing it wrong. A grown man needs grown man clothes, and shouldn't beg the state for a grand because he "has to" buy a suit for work.

Anonymous said...

@4:14 state employee here and yes, both my husband and I have and will continue to turn down "perks" we feel are unnecessary. For instance we are allowed a daily sum for travel. If we are at a conference where food is provided, or stay at a hotel where a meal is provided we eat that rather than going out. When we do go out we eat modestly and work very hard to turn in far less than "allowed". I realize that might not be true of everyone and it certainly doesn't fit the narrative that gets tossed around about state employees, but we treat tax dollars more sacredly than we do our own.

Kingfish said...

That's the point. Thanks.

Kingfish said...

Actually the Edmonds can be bought on one of their sales, clearance sales or factory seconds online for $150 or sometimes cheaper. Treat them right and they last a long time, then spend $125 to get recrafted. Soles are sewn, not glued. Not the Park's or Fifth's but some pretty good ones.

Anonymous said...

10:59; as a state employee, why are you dragging your husband along on your 'bidness trips'?

And whoever is back home at the desk, for your agency, ought to be scrutinizing all of your (and others) travel and expense forms to be sure you are not claiming expense for a meal when clearly meals were provided. The agency knows that sort of thing up front.

Otherwise your claim that you 'treat tax dollars sacredly' is bullshit. There's that.

Anonymous said...

What about the ones like Jim Armstrong that get to take the $25,000 cooking trailers to his house built by inmate labor and gets to use it for personal use? Pretty good perk to go along with the state vehicle, gas card and making over $71,000 year to cook hamburgers and put up political signs.

Anonymous said...

I remember when Bennett Malone's wife, years back, said she always accompanies Bennett when the legislature is in session and has for years, and, together, we watch this state's tax dollars as if they were their own.

Well....that's sorta like 'sacred' ain't it?

I also remember Bennett resigned the week Epps got indicted and now his wife is about to go up the river.

Anonymous said...

kingfish is the greatest. there has never been a journalist in the history of this state that had the guts to point out and expose this sort of ridiculous government spending .

Anonymous said...

While we're at it, the auditor should look into the travel at the gaming commission - they are unique because when they do licensing investigations they charge their actual expenses back to the applicant so they don't charge a flat-rate daily per diem. Any deviation between what the investigator actually spent, and what is indicated on the expense voucher, and ultimately the applicant's bill is fraud. Agency leadership knows about this, and once the bill is sent for payment they have committed mail fraud. In fact, there's one employee there who bragged about buying a car with all of the per diem money he stole from applicants based on inflated expense vouchers.

I don't see any problem with a state employee taking a spouse on a trip as long as they segregate their expenses and the spouse doesn't ride in an agency vehicle.

Anonymous said...

I work for the State and do not make what these people make but I am required to dress professionally and not given any type of allowance for it. I agree that they are not doing anything legally wrong but they should not get the perk anyway unless all state employees get the same perk. No civilian employees at DPS who have to dress for their work get a clothing allowance.

Anonymous said...

A grown man needs grown man clothes

Well said! I look around and see so many 40+ guys in crap like Ed Hardy shirts and superhero T's like they're high schoolers or twenty something bros. You go to church these days and half the guys are wearing blue jeans and the others are "dressed up" in their Dockers. When did being casual trump looking good?

All men over 30 need at least one nice suit that fits them. Not some 10-year-old get up with torn lining that fit them 8 years and 30 pounds ago. Get it altered. If it can't be let out enough, get a new one that fits you, not something that will fit you when you lose those 30 pounds.

But the point is well made that you shouldn't have to consider it a pay cut to dress like a grown-up. That's what your salary is for - food, clothing, shelter. Spend some of the money you've been throwing away at the casino on some decent clothing.

You shouldn't have to get an allowance to dress like a man. What are you, twelve?

Anonymous said...

It looks to me that the Legislature gives money to DPS for salary raises every year and the managers just keep all that money to give THEMSELVES raises. One manager has got $30,000 in raises to be $100,000 salary in just a few years, while meanwhile the hard-working people who actually do the work and attend the meetings are still at start step, year after year.

The Legislature should look at where their budget actually goes.

And also Kingfish, how about publishing MSDH salaries next? Another agency always crying for money but keeping it all at the top.

Anonymous said...

12:03, you are correct, we clothe them, feed them (whenever they want at the academy), and pay for their transportation to and from work.

But you failed to mention that we also let them drive at any rate of speed over the limit to and from work or to and from anywhere for any reason whatever or even no reason at all.

Anonymous said...

7:56 - yup.

A few years ago I was driving Northbound on I-55 and nearly run off of the road by a trooper who was traveling at an insane rate of speed as I was driving in the RIGHT lane - no blue lights, no siren. It made me wonder what the big emergency was...apparently there was some sort of critical incident at the Cracker Barrel near Batesville which required no less than 5 troopers to handle (/S).

Troopers have been emboldened by politicians (the Governor especially) to feel an unrealistic sense of self-entitlement and self-importance, and they feel they are superior to us mere mortals. Guess what MHP, while we respect law enforcement (real law enforcement) we really don't give a shit about your academy and your struggles with morality, most of us are just trying to make a living and provide a good life for our families.

Anonymous said...

MS code 19-25-13 allows MS Sheriff Dept's ONLY $400????????

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