Due to a space crunch, a shorter version of this story was printed in the paper.
Here's a version with more details.
The Cook County Health and Hospitals System board on Thursday agreed to hire interim chief financial officer Pitt Calkin on a six-month contract that will pay him up to $252,000.
That's $1,800 a day for 20 days a month, plus up to $300 a day in travel expenses.
Former county hospital system CFO John Cookinham was paid $178,603 a year.
Calkin, who currently is a financial consultant for Tucson Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz, said he has been working at Cook County Hospital for the past three weeks. In addition to his duties here, Calkin said he will continue to work one week a month at the Tucson Medical Center.
Since 2003, Calkin has worked as CFO or financial adviser at six different hospital systems for stints of two years or less.
"With my company I go around ... and turn hospitals around," Calkin said.
Calkin's salary was added to the hospital board's contract with MedAssets Net Revenue Systems. MedAssetts has a contract to increase revenue at the hospital system by about $80 over three years.
County Commissioner Forrest Claypool said Calkin's salary is "a remarkable amount of money for a public position that has historically paid less."
"If these are kind of fiscal decisions the hospital board will make routinely, we may want to consider restoring county board oversight," Claypool said. "That's remarkable amount of money for single individual. All other level governments attract CFOs for far less. I'm not quite sure who is advising them on salaries."
Hospital system chief operating officer David Small said Calkin's contract was the "best deal on an interim CFO" that he could get.
The salary "may seem remarkable, but that's what the market demands for a competent professional."