For those lucky enough to have a ticket, “America’s Great State Payroll Giveaway” is right up there with the Powerball lottery. In California, the individual most profitably cashing in is all over the local LA media this week as a result of the first of a six-part segment of the ongoing Bloomberg News series.

From the article by LA based news research team leader Rodney Yap together with east coast Bloomberg colleagues Freeman Klopott and Terrence Dopp:

Mohammad Safi, a graduate of a medical school in Afghanistan, began working as a psychiatrist at a California mental hospital in 2006, making $90,682 in his first six months. Last year, he took home $822,302, all of it paid by taxpayers.

Safi benefited from what amounted to a bidding war after a federal court forced the state to improve inmate care. The prisons raised pay to lure psychiatrists, the mental health department followed suit to keep employees, and costs soared.

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