Exec Salary Causes Fla. Governor to Reconsider Domestic Violence Group

May 3, 2012; Source: Tampa Bay Times

Thanks to a law signed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in 2003, the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence has been the sole recipient of $31 million in state support for domestic violence—distributing money and training, and doing oversight and advocacy for the state’s 42 domestic violence shelters. But now Gov. Rick Scott, who graces the front cover of the coalition’s latest annual report, has noted that Tiffany Carr, the head of the coalition, is taking home a $316,104 annual salary before benefits, and it has marked the whole relationship between the state and the coalition for a review. Scott has asked that the law be changed so that state money does not flow through the Coalition. Carr has responded that her salary was set by the coalition board and that she is very willing to take a cut if the legislature or board requests it.

Some do not approve of the targeted scrutiny. “I’m kind of perplexed by his decision,” said State Rep. Denise Grimsley (R-Sebring), chair of Florida’s House Appropriations Committee, adding that the coalition “does an outstanding job.” She said that nobody in Scott’s office voiced concern about the coalition during the state budgeting process. On the other hand, State Sen. Mike Bennett, (R-Bradenton), who is a vocal critic of high salaries and who obtained the organization’s Form 990 and delivered it to the governor’s chief of staff, says “I was so p - - - ed off when I saw the salary Tiffany Carr was making. It’s absolutely stone-a - - insane.”

The salary, according to this article, is three times what some state agency heads make but the coalition says that they did base it on a study of the salaries of those who head comparable nonprofits. –Ruth McCambridge

About

Ruth McCambridge

Ruth is Editor in Chief of the Nonprofit Quarterly. Her background includes forty-five years of experience in nonprofits, primarily in organizations that mix grassroots community work with policy change. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ruth spent a decade at the Boston Foundation, developing and implementing capacity building programs and advocating for grantmaking attention to constituent involvement.

  • DStallings

    Two comments as a nonprofit CFO and CPA:
    1. After looking at their 990s there is no good explanation for the CEO to be paid more than $150k, since more than 80% of the revenue is pass-thru, and
    2. The CFO’s comp looks substantially below market, which says she should be making, if she if full time and working at a CFO level, closer to $90,000+ for the size of agency.
    Reviewing their 990 and all the salaries listed with the CEO’s so very high compared to her senior staff makes me recall KCMC or agencies that have made retirement agreements with their CEOs to raise normal comp for the CEO’s final years. That is always a very bad idea.
    The Gov. is justified in investigate this agency and their board’s practices.

  • Terry

    As Executive Director for a Senior Center (a private nonprofit that functions as the Dept.on Aging for the county) for 22 years- my salary of $75,000 has been under attack by county elected officials since 2008 when the Center’s board of Directors approved a wage adjustment to my salary. With an annual budget of $2.2m they increased the salary from $57,000 to $75,000. So much so that local tax dollars approved by voters was not levied by these same officials resulting in a legal suit against the County. It’s gone from a local judge ruling in the Center’s favor that the full amount voters approved had to be levied, to the court of appeals who ruled that really it’s a tax tribunal issue and currently we’re waiting for an opinion from the State Supreme Court. The estimated cost in legal fees (both the County and the Center), thus far $140,000! How many meals could that have paid for or, respite services for caregivers trying to keep their loved ones at home. When I read $316,104 for the salary I laughed out loud! $75,000 or 316,104 of taxpayers money. How much of the latter would help someone stay out of a domestic violence situation. The irony of it all.