A nonprofit company that holds 23 state contracts to care for troubled juveniles in Florida pays its chief executive more than $1.2 million a year in salary and benefits, most of it courtesy of taxpayers, reports the Miami Herald. The state Department of Juvenile Justice says the money paid to William Schossler is excessive. The state wants the hefty paydays to stop. “It was never the department’s intent that such a large share of the funding would go to compensate the top administration of your corporation instead of into direct services for our youth,” wrote Gov. Rick Scott’s juvenile justice chief, Wansley Walters, in a Dec. 12 letter to Schossler.
Schossler, 65, is president of The Henry & Rilla White Foundation, a Tallahassee-based nonprofit that has done work for the state for more than two decades and currently has a contract with the state’s agriculture department to feed the children it oversees. Named for Schossler’s grandparents, the foundation manages residential treatment beds, provides counseling and therapy to troubled children after they complete residential care, and has programs to divert kids from delinquency. In the current budget year, the foundation’s 23 juvenile justice contracts statewide have a total value of $10.2 million. In what it called a routine review of contracts, the Department of Juvenile Justice discovered that Schossler earned $397,940 in salary and $862,837 in other compensation in 2010.