Pembrokeshire council's decision to lease a Porsche as its former chief executive's work car was an "appalling story", Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews has said.
Bryn Parry-Jones got a £277,000 pay-off after quitting his job in October.
It was part of a scathing attack by Mr Andrews on the quality of leadership in local government in Wales.
He said stories about senior officers' pay were "scandalous" but Conservatives said Labour had done little about it.
"The idea that a local council is paying for its chief executive to have a Porsche was an appalling story," Mr Andrews told BBC Wales.
Pembrokeshire council has now been ordered to reveal how much in total it spent on lease cars for Mr Parry-Jones.
'Time for action'
He also questioned why council leaders had waited for inspectors to point out "major failings" in "big services areas like education and social services".
The minister said the people of Wales were fed up with the way local authorities were led and that it was "time for action".
Mr Andrews pledged to bring down the £25m annual cost of chief executive and senior council officers' pay "very significantly."
He was due to outline his plans to try to improve leadership across the public sector at an event in Cardiff on Tuesday evening organised by the Institute of Welsh Affairs.
Conservative shadow local government minister Janet Finch-Saunders said the Labour minister's criticism of "Porsche-fuelled council waste" was "phoney".
"Welsh Conservatives have long slammed over-inflated senior pay in Wales, yet Labour - which has overseen our councils since 1999 - has done next to nothing to stop it," she added.