Last year, the city of Memphis paid Allan Wade, a politically connected staff attorney, more than the mayor and the chief administrative officer -- combined.
Wade received $387,000 from the city in 2008 through an unusual combination of a salary paid to him as an employee (who also gets full health and retirement benefits) and fees paid to his law firm for outside legal work.
The arrangement has earned Wade $1.2 million since 2006, according to records obtained by The Commercial Appeal.
"That's pretty outrageous," said Dan Norwood, a private Memphis attorney who has worked extensively with the City Charter and believes Wade's arrangement could pose a conflict of interest.
Some of the concerns about a possible conflict in Wade's dual roles stem from the City Charter, which says "no ... officer nor subordinate officer of the city, shall be connected with, or interested in, directly or indirectly, any contract with the city."
Benjamin Franklin had this to say about public servants and their salaries...
At the Constitutional Convention, Ben Franklin stated his belief that public servants should not be paid a salary, for in paying the civil service, our government would not be made of "the wise and the moderate ... the men fittest for the trust" but instead by "the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions ... in their selfish pursuits."