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Top 250 Salaries in Albuquerque City Government

By   /   June 20, 2012  /   News  /   No Comments

You pay them. You should know what you are paying. Here are the top 250 salaries for the City of Albuquerque. Fifty-eight people earn over $100,000. The rest of the top 250 earns above $81,600. We have broken out the top 25 earners separately below.

The list is on a Google spreadsheet. You will have to scroll to the right to the see the salary information. Here is the link again.

The person who is usually the highest paid city employee is not the highest paid in the administration of Mayor Richard J. Berry. That’s because he inherited a contract from the Marty Chavez

Courtesy Asaavedra32

administration giving Chavez’ CAO, Ed Adams, a guaranteed salary, even though he had transferred into a post lower in the City Hall hierarchy. On advice from the city’s legal department, Mayor Berry decided not to challenge the contract in court.

Berry’s highest paid employee, his CAO Robert Perry, makes less than his predecessor (who works under him–strange, but that’s the way it is). In general, it appears that the take home pay of political appointees in the Berry administration falls below the salaries of the Chavez administration. Adams, had he been hired into his current position in the Municipal Development Department, would be making at least 16% less. Clerical employees, not covered in the top 250, also take home smaller paychecks, though the cost of their benefits has risen considerably.

The data for this report was compiled by Marcos Portillo, an intern with the Rio Grande Foundation. Mr. Portillo is studying economics at the University of New Mexico after serving as a Staff Sergeant with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. Mr. Portillo reports that the Berry administration was very helpful and open in providing this data. His questions were usually answered the same or the next day. This is quite a change in attitude from this site’s experience with City Hall under the previous administration. Mr. Portillo is in the process of collecting similar data from other governmental bodies around New Mexico. We will be reporting his findings here as the data becomes available.

Here they are, the top twenty-five earners in Albuquerque City Government under Mayor Richard Berry. Note: Actual earnings may be higher than base salary due to the inclusion of overtime earnings, sick leave sell back, longevity pay, shift differential, incentive pays, and other “special pays.” These figures don’t include take home vehicles, reimbursements, such as mileage and tuition, and vacation and sick leave payouts at retirement or resignation. Earnings displayed are pay issued in the calendar year.‬

1. Edward Adams Municipal Development $144,773 (seen note below)

2. Robert Perry Chief Administrative Officer 143,355

3. Raymond Schultz Chief of Police 138,063

4. James Breen Fire Chief 123,450

5. Laura Mason City Council Director 121,066

6. Nathaniel Muzik Deputy Fire Chief 115,189

7. Gilbert Santistevan Deputy Fire Chief 115,084

8. Simon Drobik Police Officer 1st Class 114,727

9. Troy Luna Police Sergeant 114,151

10. David Downey Deputy Fire Chief 112,748

11. Clint Hubbard APD, Technical Program Mgr. 112,632

12. Joseph Zamora Fire Commander 112,603

13. Christopher Daniel Finance & Admin, Div. Mgr. 112,486

14. Dawne Roberto Police Officer 1st Class 112,088

15. Jared Frazier Police Officer 1st Class 111,595

16. John Soladay Chief Operations Officer 111,080

17. Joshua McDonald Police Sergeant 110,065

18. Tige Watson Deputy Fire Chief 109,882

19. Paul Feist Deputy Police Chief 109,602

20. Louis Armijo Police Sergeant 109,477

21. Daniel Carr Police Officer 1st Class 108,024

22. Richard Dourte City Engineer 107,401

23. Carmen Kavelman Internal Audit & Inv. Director 107,345

24. Richard Janser Assoc. Director Bipark 107,182

25. Michael Riordan Assoc. Dir. Municipal Devel. 107,120

(Note on Ed Adams salary: Other accounts state his salary as carried over from the prior administration at $147,000. We are looking into why the salaried information provided to us reports a slightly lower level of compensation.  Update:  we are now glad to say that the mystery is solved.  Mr. Adams, like all other city employees was subject to a pay cut proportionate to his base salary.  That reduction took effect early in 2011).


Jim formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • TH

    You are missing the big story here – APD overtime. Some officers are doubling their salaries through overtime. Under Jim Baca, there was abuse of APD OT, primarily through tag-teaming DWI arrests. Three or four officers would get their names on a single DWI arrest and be called to testify in court. Each would receive two hours of OT for each DWI hearing, regardless how long it took. So the DWI unit sergeants and officers tended to rack up huge OT. Make no mistake – there are also legitimate ways to rack up the OT, but it would be interesting if you looked at the trends in OT. Under Baca, APD regular OT (not Chief’s OT which is reimbursed from external sources) cost about $5 million a year. Chavez got it down to $1.5 million. What is it today? Why?

  • Steve Johnson

    Thank GOD Marty Chavez didn’t get the nod for Congress. His “movida” for that waste of space he gave a guaranteed salary to should be enough to ban him from public office forever. Only in NM does someone get demoted and a $30K pay increase! And then they wonder why we are DECADES behind real neighboring cities like Denver and Phoenix.

  • Matthew Rawlings

    Throw in ABCWUA to boot. That entity is more important than the City and County, combined! And the MRGCD too.

  • Don

    Why cant you have a direct link so people don’t have to have a Google account and risk identity theft of their information to be able to see these salary lists?

  • Candice Miller

    My question to the Berry administration is:

    Why do we need to pay technical and engineers top dollars up to $48 an hour when you already have out-state companies doing their work? I don’t see any other government entity paying such a ridicules amount of money to people whose jobs are non-essential.

  • Sandra Perez

    It’s quite funny that Daniel Carr’s name is so high up there he is a notorious officer within the APD for making a lot of DWI arrests yet so many of his arrests either get held up for lengthy times in the court system or get dismissed in the end for his lousy excuses for missing out on court dates…..