By Jessica Williams, The Lens staff writer |

Which state official gets paid the most out of the state budget? Once again, it’s Louisiana State University chancellor John Lombardi, according to Civil Service records.

Overall, the highest paid state employee is Louisiana State University head football coach Les Miles, who makes a $3.75 million a year. But most of his salary comes from other sources, such as self-generated Athletic Department money, with only $300,000 listed by Civil Service.


Lombardi tops the pay chart at $550,000 per year. LSU assistant head football coaches Steve Kragethorpe and John Chavis are next – both take home a half million a year in taxpayer dollars, and also receive cash from LSU self-generated revenue.

As in the past, the top 30 highest salaries belong to public education officials, mostly at LSU.

In response to a public-records request, The Lens received these salaries and close to 90,000 others in a payroll database from the state Civil Service Commission. Every state employee, from New Orleans City Park employees to Recovery School District officials, is listed on this downloadable Excel spreadsheet.

We’re looking into a few things  in the database that have piqued our interest, and we welcome any suggestions you may have after looking it over.

One item of note: four Delgado Community College faculty members, Cynthia Tranchina, Paulette White, Yolanda Helaire and Carolyn Coffey, were listed as making upwards of $400,000 a year. But both Delgado and the state said that info is wrong and chalked up the mistake to a typing error. The change in salary for the four is reflected in the spreadsheet.

We’re offering this list, last updated by the state on Sept. 16, as a courtesy to our readers. Sort and filter through the spreadsheet to find out who makes the most – and least – in your field of interest. If you see anything awry, drop us a line. And if sorting and filtering isn’t your thing, check out this online tool from Louisiana that offers the same information, just in a more easily searchable format. Happy hunting.

Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams stays on top of the city's loosely organized collection of public schools, with a special emphasis on charter schools. In 2011 she was recognized by the Press Club of New Orleans for her...