Under the Dome

Staff salaries in N.C. Senate leader offices

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.


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General Assembly Salary Database

Where is this tool located?


Well its seems to me that Berger doesn't need 2 leg. asst nor 3 policy adv. and 2 of those sr policy adm. total cost of 5 employees $204,922.96 now I see 1 leg at 22,848.24 and 1 plocy adv 68,336.00 makes sense that would cut the employee bill $114,738.72 but this way of thinking would make sense guess that's not acceptable.

All public offices and goverment office's could do a cut back and save the tax payer's money. 

Basnight could revamp his employee's by at least 15% cut in pay and bring his down too, we pay way to much for his staff.

Champagne taste and beer budget guys, time to tighten the old belt back just like the common people out here in the real world of NC

Not sure what you're trying

Not sure what you're trying to say, but I'll take a stab; just proves there little difference between either party when it comes to cutting taxes and spending. It's coming, one way or the other, because it's the only way out of this hole our federal gommit has dug for itself.

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