By Daniel Kelley, The Belleville News Democrat
A review of the salaries and benefits of public employees and elected officials at St. Clair County found the county spent more than $1 million on such benefits for 86 part-time employees and politicians. County officials say the benefits are necessary as an incentive to draw better employees while critics believe the practice is unnecessary and costly.
County Board members, attorneys, assistant public defenders, assistant state's attorneys, jury commissioners, East St. Louis Election Board commissioners, nurses and others received full benefits for working part-time with the county. The county spent more than $1.07 million providing such benefits last year - about $872,000 more than the combined cost of four neighboring counties.
The News-Democrat found the county does not have a minimum wage level for part-time employees to receive benefits. For example, one employee received health and retirement benefits but only earned $153 in wages.
This story was published with help from IRE's Total Newsroom Training