On June 11, The N&O published an article about the generous raises House Speaker Thom Tillis has given his legislative staff. After that article, many readers wanted to see a comparison of the salaries paid by Tillis and those paid by Democrat Joe Hackney when he was speaker. Dome published that comparison on June 16.
Now, by popular demand, it's time to turn to the Senate. Like Tillis, Senate leader Phil Berger told N&O editorial writers and reporters in January that he would have lower staff costs than his predecessor. In fact, Berger said his payroll would be 10 percent lower than that of Marc Basnight.
Here then is a comparison of the salaries of Berger's staff as of June 7 and that of Basnight's during his last session.
Skylar Adams, scheduler, $32,500
Amy Auth, deputy chief of staff, communications and operations, $84,000
James Blaine, chief of staff, $152,500
Grantin Brooks, policy adviser, $46,000
Barbara Eldridge, legislative assistant, $22,848.24
Peggy Halifax, legislative assistant, $15,738.72
Tracy Kimbrell, general counsel, $142,500
Darrell Malcolm, director of boards and commissions and special assistant to Berger, $69,168
Charles (Ray) Martin, press secretary, $39,500
Kelly Nicholson, senior policy adviser, $68,336
Michael Rusher, director of constitutent services, $34,500
Thomas Sevier, deputy chief of staff for policy, $98,500
Erica Shrader, senior policy adviser, $53,000
Jeffrey Warren, senior policy adviser, $68,336
Berger total: $927,426.96
Basnight staff on July 1, 2010.
Anne (Beth) Braswell, legal counsel, $146,933
Mary (Suzell) Crosswhite, director of constituent services, $45,713
Christopher Dillon, director of special projects, $72,089.40
Amy Fulk, chief of staff, $160,657
Mary Hall, environmental policy analyst, $60,910
William (Schorr) Johnson, communications director, $68,390
Mary King, director of member services and legislative research, $76,840
Matty Lazo-Chadderton, director, Hispanic/Latino affairs, $70,104
Brenda Lee, legislative assistant, $34,788
Lelia Tackett, director of boards and commissions, $59,548.92
Angela Talton, director of citizen and government affairs, $99,161.92
Sabra Faires, former Senate tax counsel, earned $172,377. She is not identified in the General Assembly salary database as a member of Basnight's office, but a recent biography described her as a member of his staff.
With her salary included, the Basnight total is $1,067,513.32. Without it, the Basnight office total is $895,136.32.