Donna Quan

Donna Quan, the former TDSB director who left the board under a cloud of controversy, made more money than the premier in 2015, according to the Ontario Sunshine List. (TDSB)

Former Toronto District School Board director Donna Quan, who resigned under a cloud of controversy in 2015, made more money last year than Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, according to this year's Sunshine List.

Quan, who stepped down from her position at the helm of the TDSB 18 months before her contract was up, earned $587,225 in 2015, according to the public list of Ontario's highest earners. Those total earnings include a base salary of $272,000 and a $315,225 payout for unused vacation days. 

Wynne, by comparison, earned a salary of $208,974 last year. 

After she left the school board, Quan was seconded to a new position with a joint venture between York University and Ontario's Ministry of Education.

In a statement issued soon after the list went public, the school board explained Quan's earnings for 2015.

Spokesperson Ryan Bird said in an email that the additional payment was not severance, but rather "unused vacation days that were owed to her as per her employment agreements during the 14 years she was a Supervisory Officer."

Issues surrounding Quan's tenure at the TDSB surfaced in a scathing report ordered by the provincial government, which found Quan negotiated a salary almost double that which school board trustees were prepared to pay, then kept the contract a secret when serious questions arose.

Before they began their search for a new director of education, TDSB trustees had signed off on a $272,000 salary, but voted yes to a $315,000 salary instead when they finalized Quan's contract in Oct. 2013.

They only agreed to the higher salary conditionally, though. Trustees wanted provincial government approval on the salary, as well. But they didn't get it. Instead, according to the report, trustees said they didn't see a copy of a letter from the ministry of education saying the salary had to match the much smaller number earned by Quan's predecessor.