Monday, July 24, 2006

At $800 a Day , Stickler Sitting Pretty Over At MSHA


Ellen Smith at Mine Safety News has corrected this information. $143,000 is Stickler's annual salary, but he's only been hired for six months, meaning he will be making half of this figure.

My apologies. It turns out that it's possible for bloggers to make mistakes.

Ellen also adds this:
On another note, one reader asked why this was even a story when both Dave Lauriski and Davitt McAteer both had similar contracts while they waited for their appointments as Assistant Secretaries. The difference is that McAteer and Lauriski did not have holds on their nominations (they were waiting for paperwork clearances) and they were going to get U.S. Senate approval, while Stickler's nomination does have a hold in the Senate.

Richard Stickler may not have been confirmed by the Senate to head the Mine Safety and Health Administration, but he's not going to be hurting financially in his "interim" job as a "Senior Advisor" to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

Mine Safety and Health News (subscription required) reports that
Labor Dept. records show that Stickler was hired as a "Senior Advisor" for a term not to exceed 180 days. His salary is $143,000 for that time period -- a little less than $800 per day -- $794.44 to be exact.

According to the information released by the department, Stickler is serving as a senior advisor "on sensitive issues and critical matters pertaining to policies, priorities, and program direction of the Department of Labor and to its structure, organization and operation." He is supposed to be reviewing and analyzing "key, emerging issues of direct and substantial interest and concern," to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and the Bush Administration.

The document released by the Labor Dept. states that Stickler's principal duties and responsibilities include conducing "numerous complex and high-priority special assignments... involving extensive research, fact-finding and program improvements on a variety of high-level subjects of critical importance to the department." It's his job to determine "the nature of background information, and data, levels of coordination and consultation, format of presentation, etc." It is also his job to make sure that Chao has the necessary information "for decision making on highly sensitive and controversial issues."
Mine Safety and Health News received the information under a Freedom of Information Request to the agency. Stickler was hired as a DOL "advisor" after a vote on his Senate confirmation had to be cancelled due to the fact that there weren't enough votes to confirm the former mine industry executive.