District Attorney James Sacket topped the list of highest-paid Schoharie County employees for 2012, earning $140,300.
The list of the county’s top 10 wage earners, provided in response to a Freedom of Information Law request, consists predominantly of department heads.
For Sacket, now in his 16th year as the county’s top prosecutor, the work isn’t about money.
Top 10 list
The top-paid Schoharie County employees, with job title, base salary and total 2012 earnings:
• James Sacket, district attorney, $135,175, $140,300
• Paul Brady, social services commissioner, $82,749, $82,749
• William Cherry, treasurer ($71,743 base) and budget officer ($9,226 base), $82,749
• Alicia Terry, director of planning ($69,509 base) and tourism program director ($7,176 base), $76,685
• David Lapinel, social services attorney, $76,394, $76,394
• Bonnie Post, community mental health director, $75,000, $75,000
• Kim Charboneau, mental health program coordinator, $71,137, $71,137
• Kathy Buschynski, head social welfare examiner, $71,137, $71,137
• Helen Detiberus, deputy social services commissioner, $70,870, $70,870
• Anthony Desmond, sheriff, $69,000, $69,000
“I don’t do it for the money, I do it because I enjoy serving the public. I enjoy trying to keep Schoharie County rural and relatively crime-free,” he said.
Sacket runs a department with four employees, including two assistant district attorneys, and a total budget of $327,981 in 2012.
Though small in population, with about 32,578 residents, the county has seen a boost in criminal activity since the massive damage from tropical storms Irene and Lee.
“We’re as busy as we’ve ever been here,” Sacket said.
Prescription drug abuse, heroin use and trafficking and increased daytime burglaries are among the county’s new crime trends, Sacket said. There’s a growing emphasis on DWI defense in the legal community, as well, adding another layer of work to his office.
“DWI remains a crime that draws a lot of resources, with defense attorneys now aggressively litigating these matters,” Sacket said.
As the years progress, Sacket said he’s seeing a continued increase in responsibilities in the District Attorney’s Office. These include the integrated domestic violence court, drug court, DNA database coordination, prosecuting state police traffic tickets and, with the recent gun control legislation approved by New York state, additional duties yet to be seen.
He noted that all these duties come without funding from the state.
The salaries of district attorneys outside New York City are tied to those of judges. The district attorneys’ salary increased from a 2011 base of $119,800 in 2011 to $135,175 for 2012, with the 2013 salary set at $144,758. The difference in the state’s fiscal year and the county’s fiscal year led to a partial increase in the Schoharie County DA’s salary for 2012.