SC Gov Haley's campaign paid staff bonuses

COLUMBIA — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley continued paying campaign staff from her campaign accounts as they took taxpayer-paid jobs with her transition.


The Republican governor's campaign finance report show payments of more than $26,000 to campaign staff as they moved to the public payroll after the Nov. 2 election.

"Those numbers reflect performance-based bonuses paid to staff in order to fulfill their initial hiring agreements," said Marisa Crawford, a Haley campaign aide.

Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey referred questions on the campaign to Crawford.

Haley is paying her 16-member staff a total of $1.1 million in salary. Most of them worked on Haley's transition but not all of them were campaign staff who earned bonuses.

— Tim Pearson is Haley's chief of staff and now earning $125,000 a year. Pearson was also Haley's campaign manager and engineered her come-from-behind GOP primary win. He was paid up to $18,000 for the 10-week transition and had $7,875 in campaign pay after the election.

— Rob Godfrey is Haley's chief spokesman and earns $65,000 a year. Godfrey was also Haley's campaign spokesman. He was being up to $10,000 by the transition and received $6,845 from the campaign after the election.

— Rebecca Schimsa is Pearson's special assistant and earns $60,000. The transition paid Schimsa up to $10,000 and the campaign paid her $4,853 after the election.

— Madison Walker has a $30,000 salary as Haley's director of boards and commissions. She was paid up to $6,000 by the transition and $3,250 after the election.

Haley is paying her staff more than former Gov. Mark Sanford paid his. For instance, Pearson's salary is $27,000 more than what Sanford paid his chief of staff. Haley has said that even with those increased wages the overall cost of operating her office is being cut.

Haley's salary is set by law and is unchanged from the $106,078 Sanford made during his two terms.


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