S.C. governor's office salaries questioned

COLUMBIA --- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will pay her chief of staff $125,000 a year, a salary that eclipses her own pay and is $27,000 more than former Gov. Mark Sanford paid his chief of staff, according to records obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

Gov. Nikki Haley is paying her chief of staff $125,000, more than she is earning.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Gov. Nikki Haley is paying her chief of staff $125,000, more than she is earning.

Tim Pearson, the Republican governor's chief of staff, is credited with managing her come-from-behind campaign that vaulted her past three other GOP contenders and a Democratic state senator. Trey Walker, a former political adviser, will make $122,775 as deputy chief of staff for communications and legislative affairs.

Haley, who took the oath of office Wednesday, justified $1.1 million in salaries in part because the overall expenses of her office are going down.

"When we came in, if you notice, we reduced the entire structure of the governor's office," Haley said. "It's more efficient than what I had seen."

Sixteen of her staff members make more $40,000 or more a year.

Democrats seized quickly on the image of big paychecks in the midst of layoffs, a projected $829 million budget shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year and programs being cut that deliver health care services to the elderly, disabled and poor.

"The state's budget crisis doesn't appear to be affecting Haley's office," said Phil Bailey, the spokesman for the Senate's Democratic Caucus.

House Minority Leader Harry Ott said he wouldn't too harshly criticize Haley before seeing all that she's spending on salaries. But the timing is bad as the state ends funding for services such as hospice care that allows people to die at home instead of hospitals.

"She needs to understand that perception is reality," said Ott, a St. Matthews Democrat. "And the perception of these $125,000 salaries is of the good ol' network she campaigned against."

Haley also said she will end a practice of previous governors who borrowed staff from other agencies to do work for them. That process, called "detailing," allowed governors to spread the cost of running their offices into other agencies' budgets.

Haley's salary is set by law and is unchanged from the $106,078 Sanford made. After taking office in 2003, Sanford paid his chief of staff $93,000. Sanford's last chief of staff, Scott English, left that job Tuesday and was paid a salary of $98,000.

Rob Godfrey, Haley's spokesman and a former campaign staffer, is being paid $65,000.

Other developments

- Gov. Nikki Haley has picked an agency director from Hawaii to lead South Carolina's cash-strapped Department of Social Services. Haley announced Thursday that she wants Lillian Koller to lead the agency that oversees children's welfare. The 55-year-old has been director, since 2003, of Hawaii's Department of Human Services, which includes social services.

- The South Carolina Senate voted unanimously to confirm Catherine Templeton to run Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and former BMW Manufacturing executive Bobby Hitt as the state's commerce secretary. Hitt will lead the state's economic development agency, the Commerce Department.

-- Associated Press

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usapatriot
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usapatriot 01/14/11 - 03:49 am
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0
Nikki, I voted for you. I'd

Nikki, I voted for you. I'd hope you'd have the savvy to have answers before these things come up. If your highly paid CofS didn't have a response in this article, maybe he's not the one for the job.

I figured that out & wouldn't want near that much.

Oh, and Mr Ott, any comment on Steve Spurrier's salary?

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 01/14/11 - 07:30 am
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So.. a little money was saved
Unpublished

So.. a little money was saved in some areas but they make up for it by paying high wages. Guess that's the price for buying your way into office.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 01/14/11 - 08:08 am
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0
This is disappointing news.
Unpublished

This is disappointing news. I see that her accounting expertise will be used to rob the state coffers for her cronies.

NewHere
0
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NewHere 01/14/11 - 09:11 am
0
0
Cut his salary by 50%, what a

Cut his salary by 50%, what a waste of state money

seenitB4
86577
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seenitB4 01/14/11 - 10:19 am
0
0
Give her a chance & lets see

Give her a chance & lets see what she does.... at least her ego will let staff make more than she does. lol

to tell the truth1
130
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to tell the truth1 01/14/11 - 10:55 am
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OK, SC you got just what you

OK, SC you got just what you voted for. Infidelity and other problems were brought to the public's attention about her and yet most citizens of SC still voted her in. So please don't act like you are surprised.. Not only is the country in financial ruins, especially your state and for her to come in and do something like this!! Now you have to live with it until next election, that is, if she is not re-elected!!!

Labatt
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Labatt 01/14/11 - 01:05 pm
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I'm in the wrong line of

I'm in the wrong line of work.

usapatriot
0
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usapatriot 01/14/11 - 03:16 pm
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0
to tell the truth, the affair

to tell the truth, the affair allegations were proven to be lies by the democrats. do you have new evidence or are you part of the slime machine that started the false charges?

usapatriot
0
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usapatriot 01/14/11 - 05:31 pm
0
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maybe Nikki read what Obama

maybe Nikki read what Obama had to say about Robert Gibbs.......

"...He's had a six-year stretch now where basically he's been going 24/7 with relatively modest pay," Obama told The New York Times...."

"Writing on The Atlantic website, James Warren said Obama's 'relatively modest' comment "suggested a slight case of tone deafness."

"....Gibbs "earns $172,200 in a nation where the average family income hovers around $55,000, unemployment is high, record foreclosures persist and wages for most folks are at best stagnant,..."

http://www.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2011/01/obamas-comment-...

Richmnd Cty Votr
1
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Richmnd Cty Votr 01/14/11 - 10:53 pm
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First day on the job, and

First day on the job, and already there are problems. Not a good first impression. Personally, I see no problem borrowing staff members if they are IDLE. I dont want my tax dollars sitting on their arses all day! It would be different if SC was sitting in the GREEN ZONE not the RED! But times like these are not the times to raise salaries. Cut back should be in order. Then they have NERVE to tell the people that pay their salaries they can't balance the budget. GET A CLUE!

Richmnd Cty Votr
1
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Richmnd Cty Votr 01/14/11 - 11:04 pm
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Isn't this what everyone does

Isn't this what everyone does when they can't afford their house payment? They go out and buy a larger house they can afford even less. Where is the accountability and sense? Sheeesh!

dwb619
93032
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dwb619 01/17/11 - 08:02 pm
0
0
She has created a new

She has created a new position and hired her husband to fill it. He already has a full time job with the National Guard(65k). The state job is a political job. So, could this be a violation of the Hatch Act?
How's that TEA PARTY thing working for ya?

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