Do a poor job in the private sector and "You're fired." But in the public sector it seems there is no such thing as a poor job. Consider Illinois, for example, where the governor is not the highest paid state employee. In 2010, 3,062 public employees were paid more than the Illinois governor, totalling nearly $1Bn.
Perhaps I'm being unfair. Maybe those three thousand bureaucrats are doing an awesome job of running the state in a profitable manner, and are worth every penny of taxpayer money they stuff into pillow sheets! [cough, cough]
To tie it up: if my lefty Facebook friends' posts are to be believed [cough, cough but this one has verisimilitude...] the college football coach is the highest paid public employee in most states. And actually has some accountability.