Inside Story: Naifeh Aide Loses Post, Keeps Pay - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

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Inside Story: Naifeh Aide Loses Post, Keeps Pay

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Reta Adams, longtime assistant to former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh Reta Adams, longtime assistant to former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh
From Phil Williams:

All politics aside, here's the simple question: If a state employee loses a high-paying job, should she keep the salary -- even if she's no longer doing the work?

Few have been closer to former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh than his longtime assistant, Reta Adams.

And Naifeh rewarded her loyalty, giving her the title "deputy chief of staff" to the speaker.

Her salary -- $81,000 a year (including $3,000 longevity pay) -- is more than double the salary for a lot of legislative secretaries.

But when Naifeh failed to hold onto the speakership -- and Adams moved out of the speaker's office with him -- she kept the title and the $81,000 salary.

Even though Kent Williams took the gavel, Democrats pushed to have Naifeh named "speaker emeritus."

It was supposed to be just an honorary title.

But the legislature's top administrator says she had waited to see whether Naifeh got the title before she reviewed Reta Adams' title -- and salary.

Which means legislative leaders still have to decide that question about whether the big salary goes with the person -- or with the job.

The problem on Capitol Hill is: it's hard to put politics aside.

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