Governor’s top staff salaries lower than predecessors’ |

Governor’s top staff salaries lower than predecessors’

by Geoff Dornan

Gov. Brian Sandoval has set salaries for his staff that are lower – in some cases significantly lower – than his predecessor.

Chief of Staff Heidi Gansert, for example, will receive an annual salary of $124,988. That is less than the $135,782 Jim Gibbons paid his chief of staff.

Deputy Chief of Staff Ann Wilkinson is listed as making $103,815 a year and Senior Policy Adviser Dale Erquiaga $119,997. Both of those are less than the $124,114 Gibbons paid his deputy chief of staff.

Sandoval is paying his general counsel Lucas Foletta $89,993 a year. That is $34,121 less than the $124,114 Gibbons paid his lawyer.

In both cases, those salary figures are before those staff members take the 4.6 percent pay cut resulting from the day-a-month unpaid furloughs imposed on all state workers, including the governor’s staff.

The result is a significant decrease in the total annual salary cost of the governor’s office. While that total was $1.5 million for Gibbons, it’s $1,046,168 for Sandoval.

Sandoval is also running the office with fewer staff than Gibbons – 18 in all compared to 24, including the governor himself, who makes $141,000 annually.

The new staff lineup is also lean compared to Gibbons’ predecessor Kenny Guinn, who in 2004 had a staff of 20 and a total payroll of $1,335,670.

Sandoval’s staff released the list of salaries Monday as part of his promise to run a transparent administration.

Under Nevada law, the salaries of non-classified staff in the governor’s office are public information.