FREMONT -- The chief of the Washington Township Health Care District will continue to earn more than $650,000 in base pay for the next four years and qualify for incentive pay, a perk that helped push the chief's wages close to $1 million in 2010, fourth highest among special district employees in the state.
The district's board of directors voted unanimously Wednesday night to extend CEO Nancy Farber's four-year contract another year, ending Oct. 31, 2016.
In 2010, Farber earned $912,519 in total wages, according to the state controller's office. It is unclear how much Farber was paid beyond her base salary in 2011 and 2012. Bay Area News Group requested that information Wednesday and has yet to receive a response from the hospital.
Under the terms of her contract, Farber will continue to receive six weeks vacation and a new car every three years paid by the hospital.
In a departure from recent years, Farber did not receive a raise in her base pay. Farber's salary rose 3.5 percent in 2009 and 3 percent in the two subsequent years, increasing from $593,000 in 2008 to $651,132.68 last year.
Farber did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Board member Michael Wallace said Farber decided to forgo raise consideration this year after decreased patient revenues earlier this year beginning in the spring, choosing to include herself in a management salary freeze.
Wallace also said the board chose not to pay for
Before the contract vote, hospital's chief of compliance, Kris LaVoy, provided an ethics training to the board and staff, briefing them on government transparency laws and conflicts of interest.
Conflict-of-interest matters were the focus of an investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission into Wallace and his role on the hospital board and as chairman of Fremont Bank, a bank used by the hospital.
State officials notified Wallace the investigation was closed in a Nov. 14 letter, writing "the Enforcement Division has found insufficient evidence to find a violation of the (Political Reform) Act."
Officials with the FPPC declined to comment on the probe this week, saying the investigation was still under way. Calls for clarification were not returned Thursday.
Wallace said of the investigation, "Being the agency that they are, the FPPC I think felt obligated to look into the matter because it was in the newspaper. That is their job and I don't blame them for looking into the matter, but it was a stupid article, because the article said on the surface that I did not vote." He added, "I have to say that I have always conducted myself appropriately as required by the law. With regards to the relationship between the hospital and Fremont Bank, I didn't participate in the decision to establish the relationship, nor did I attempt to influence the relationship."
Bay Area News Group previously reported on the probe, opened in August, referencing an investigation by The Bay Citizen which found the hospital had paid the bank $1.2 million in fees since 2001.
Wallace has served on the hospital board since 1990 and as chairman of Fremont Bank for the last three years. He reported earnings from the bank in excess of $100,000, and stock valued at more than $1 million.
Hospital spokeswoman Gisela Hernandez said the ethics training is provided to the board "as needed or requested."
Farber has served as CEO of the hospital for 18 years, managing more than 2,000 employees at the 337-bed Washington hospital in Fremont, and other medical centers in the Tri-City area. The district receives taxpayer dollars for its facilities and property.
Farber topped a compensation survey by Bay Area News Group of 64 Bay Area government entities in 2008 at $876,831, more than double the pay of the other 134,000-plus employees surveyed.
Ashly McGlone covers San Leandro, San Lorenzo and the Washington Township Health Care District. Contact her at 510-293-2463. Follow her at Twitter.com/ashlyreports.