Obama’s Executive “Pay Czar” Feinberg Received Six-Figure Salary According to Documents Uncovered by Judicial Watch
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has uncovered U.S. Treasury Department documents that reveal President Obama’s “Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation” Kenneth Feinberg received a $120,830 annual salary to establish executive compensation levels at companies bailed out by the federal government. These documents contradict multiple press reports that Feinberg would not be compensated for this work for the Treasury Department. Judicial Watch received the documents pursuant to its Freedom of Information Act request filed July 20, 2010.
When President Obama appointed Washington lawyer Kenneth Feinberg “Pay Czar” in 2009, the press reported that he would perform his duties pro bono. Dozens of mainstream media stories confirmed that Feinberg, founder and managing partner of the Washington, D.C., firm Feinberg Rozen LLP, would not receive a salary to set pay limits for more than two dozen executives at companies receiving government bailouts. For example, Reuters reported in August 2009, “Feinberg is receiving no compensation for his role.”
However, Judicial Watch has 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. Judicial Watch has also uncovered a “Notification of Personnel Action,” from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management dated June 8, 2009, also establishing Feinberg’s salary level at $120,830.
Judicial Watch repeatedly contacted Kenneth Feinberg at both his Washington, D.C., law firm and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Judicial Watch has also contacted Treasury Press Secretary Mark Paustenbach. Neither Mr. Feinberg nor the Treasury Department has provided an explanation for the discrepancy.
“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. “We 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.