Stem Cell Official’s Pay Tripled

Published on

The state’s stem cell institute this week tripled the salary of one of its vice chairmen, former state Democratic Party chief Art Torres.

Torres previously received $75,000 a year to work half time as vice chairman. The board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine voted Thursday to bump that up to $225,000 for 80 percent of his time.

A spokesman said yesterday that in addition to his duties as vice chairman, Torres will be filling a legislative-affairs position that has been vacant. The spokesman said that Torres has already been working nearly full time and that the institute will probably save money by not filling the full-time legislative-affairs position.

At least one observer questioned the raise.

“At a time when California is in a severe economic crisis, state workers’ salaries are being cut and they are facing mandatory furloughs, this raise is highly inappropriate,” said John M. Simpson, stem cell project director of the Santa Monica group Consumer Watchdog.

The stem cell institute has one other vice chairman, Duane Roth of the San Diego group Connect. He receives no salary.

When Torres and Roth were named to the posts in March, some observers saw it as a political compromise. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated Roth, a Republican, while former Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, state Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Controller John Chiang nominated Torres.

Previously, millionaire biotechnology industry veteran Edward Penhoet held the post of vice chairman and declined a salary. Chairman Robert Klein initially declined a salary but started receiving a $150,000 part-time salary this year.

Thomas Kupper: (619) 293-1037; [email protected]

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

Latest Videos

Latest Releases

In The News

Latest Report

Support Consumer Watchdog

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, press releases and special reports.

More Releases