Published: 31 December 2011 07:12 PM

There were 286 fewer local government workers in the Inland area making $100,000 or more in 2010 compared to the year before, newly released state records show.

The state controller’s office began collecting the local government compensation data in the wake of a 2010 scandal in Bell where the former city manager earned nearly $800,000.

The reasons for the overall drop in the number of Inland government workers earning $100,000 or more are unclear and could include a host of causes, from less overtime and downsizing to early retirements and normal attrition.

Of local government in the Inland region, Riverside and San Bernardino counties — the two biggest agencies — saw the largest numerical drop. In 2010, there were 77 fewer people earning $100,000 or more in Riverside County and 60 fewer in San Bernardino County, the controller’s records show.

By comparison, Riverside County in 2010 had 548 more workers earning $30,000 or less, the records show. In San Bernardino County, the number earning that amount decreased by 163.

Riverside County spokesman Ray Smith said last week that early retirements played a part in the drop in those earning more than $100,000 a year.

“In part, a consequence of early retirements, which were implemented to reduce costs countywide and address budget issues, some of the long-tenured, higher-paid employees left,” Smith said.

San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert said because of the controller’s methodology in compiling the data it’s difficult to make any broad statement about why the county had 60 fewer employees making more than $100,000 a year.

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