Sunderland City Council has released a statement explaining itself after the TaxPayers’ Alliance published its Town Hall Rich List 2017 showing Sunderland's former Chief Executive received £625,570.
The Rich List shows a breakdown of individuals receiving more than £100,000 at different councils. (Full table below)
Dave Smith received the biggest remuneration package of any individual at any council.
Sunderland City Council has said that Dr Dave Smith no longer works there and that the figure includes pension payments.
In the North East, Durham County Council had the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000, with 20.
Paul Darby, head of financial and HR services at Durham County Council, said:
The TaxPayers' Alliance criticises the payouts and says to pay should be scaled back before taxes rise.