Photo: TVA CEO Jeff Lyash Photo Credit: tva.com
The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a large regional government agency, declines to share salary information for any of their staff despite the fact that practically every other government employee’s salary is public record.
After relocating to East Tennessee from Canada where his salary was somewhere around $2 million, TVA CEO Jeff Lyash, made $9.8 million in compensation and bonuses last year.
This is certainly not the first time the CEO’s salary has been called into question.
In fact, Lyash was the highest paid federal employee in America back in 2020 and TVA directors voted in 2021 to raise his compensation package, which at the time was already sitting at over $7 million.
This has all prompted criticism from Former President Trump and U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) among others.
However, it seems that in general TVA does not want to disclose salary information for employees earning more than $500,000 a year.
During a U.S. House of Representatives hearing in Washington a few weeks ago, U.S. Representatives Cohen and Tim Burchett (R-Knoxville) leaned into Lyash about the secrecy regarding TVA employee salaries.
Lyash attempted to justify the lack of transparency and Rep. Cohen has been quoted as saying, “this can get ugly” in response.
“Keeping salaries secret opens the door to potentially inappropriate behavior if an agency is so inclined,” wrote Victor Ashe in an op-ed for Knox News. “I am not suggesting TVA does that, but complete transparency assures us that it could be exposed if it did happen.”
Ashe stated that he hopes a bipartisan quest to make TVA release the information will occur. He also contacted U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) office and got a quote from Spencer Hurwitz on staff.
“Senator Blackburn believes in transparency from the federal government, including at TVA,” stated Hurwitz.
About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee. You can reach Adelia at email@example.com.