October 10, 2009

The Williams Story and a Different Caste

Justin Katz

The story of former RI Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank Williams's second family is certainly worthy of the adjectives that have thus far been used to describe it — "odd," "creepy," and so on. With or without further details, though, it's essentially a window into another world in which such creatures thrive, and in which such facts as this swill about:

They brought in $198,000 in salaries last year, according to personnel data gathered by state controller Marc Leonetti. Pamela DosReis, 44, earned a $58,000 base salary, plus $9,709 in overtime and bonuses.

Her husband, Frank, 45, had a base salary of $50,455, plus just shy of $80,000 in overtime and bonuses.

On a personal level, one can congratulate the DosReises for their good fortune in acquiring attractive financial circumstances. As the people funding those circumstances, suspicion and recriminations are more in order, whether focusing on a powerful man who could pull such lucrative strings, on a system that makes an elite of public servants in an economically struggling state, or both.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Judge Williams also gutted that part of our state constitution concerning our rights to the seashore. He did it to brown noze the inept Gov Almond who faced a court case involving those rights. He bet on the right horse as his promoton to chief judge bears out,

Posted by: Jim Cavanaugh at October 10, 2009 5:22 PM

My father had six kids, a stay at home wife and I bet he barely made over minimum wage in either of his two jobs.

But I can tell you this, there would be no man with any amount of money or any gifting of tuition that my father would ever, and I mean ever, have a key, a favorite chair or a simple water glass in our home.

I highly doubt that either the money or the judge power status had anything to do with this story.

As they say in the hip-hop world, this story is whack!

Posted by: Roland at October 10, 2009 5:26 PM

Thank you for putting this story out there. It got lost in the "ick" factor of the original projo story.

A state prison guard makes $130,000 a year and a state sheriff makes $68,000 a year. What could possibly justify the base wages, let alone the overtime and "bonuses"? And when overtime so grossly exceeds base pay plus benefits, (and it's proved that it's for needed coverage in the first place) why isn't additional staff added to save money?

What will it take for the general assembly to address this? As they wring their hands and complain about tax revenues being down, this is what they need to understand: outrageous state employee compensation is one of the Rhode Island abuses that drives business owners to throw up their hands, close their doors and move to a state where state employees make a living, not a killing.

Just an aside: it looks like the projo shut down the public comments section on the story you quote from. States something along the lines of 'the comments were overwhelmingly inappropriate.' Power has its perks.

Posted by: RIBorn at October 10, 2009 6:23 PM

If asked, I can assure you that the General Assembly would reply to the question of overtime roughly as follows. The overtime is a temporary condition and paying it is cheaper than adding employees with additional benefit costs and pensions.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at October 10, 2009 9:40 PM

"What could possibly justify the base wages."

Are you kidding me? You have a problem with an ACI guard making $50,000 and a sheriff making $58,000? This sounds like a lot of money to you, for two people who put their lives on the line every day? Especially the ACI guard? If you have a problem with the base pay, I'm guessing that's coming from a 45 year old high school dropout still checking his weekly schedule at Best Buy.

Posted by: Patrick at October 10, 2009 10:02 PM


For the record, it's the overtime and the total household income that I find eye-popping. However, I'd note that there are degrees of life-on-the-line. The wife appears to have spent quite a bit of time as Williams's driver, for example.

Posted by: Justin Katz at October 10, 2009 10:11 PM

Boy they're going to have some big-a** pensions, given that it's a big percentage of the average of the highest 3 consecutive years.

No wonder the pension system is 7+ billion in the hole.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at October 10, 2009 11:01 PM
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