Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier is earning about $20,000 more than everyone thought.
As City Paper reported in April, the city's top cop got a 5 percent raise this year that brought her $219,755 salary to $230,743. That seemed like a choice paycheck, considering her boss, Mayor Vince Gray, makes just 86 percent of that haul.
But now The Washington Examiner reports that Lanier is actually making $253,000 a year, and an April 29 letter from the District's Department of Human Resources to Councilmember Mary Cheh, who chairs the Committee on Government Operations and the Environment, obtained by City Desk, confirms it:
At the time of her appointment, Chief Cathy Lanier was paid a base salary of $175,000. Since the time of her appointment, Chief Lanier has become eligible and received tenure pay based on her years of service with the Metropolitan Police Department. The current salary for Chief Lanier is $253, 817 (base salary $230, 743), which includes tenure pay based on twenty years of police service.
The letter, which responds to an inquiry Cheh's office made regarding how much several of D.C.'s department heads are being paid, notes that Lanier earns 118 percent more than the average pay of other area police chiefs.
It's a mystery where the extra money comes from. Police union boss Kris Baumann says "tenure pay" usually refers to the "basic retention deferential" and "longevity" pay cops earn. He says that's figured into base pay. He's not sure where the additional $20,000 Lanier earned would come from "outside of some kind of bonus."
Lanier's contract does allow for performance bonuses. In the past, the city has also given Lanier added pay in order to settle up with her because of a mistake they made in connection to her retirement package, so that’s something else to consider.
MPD hasn't responded to multiple inquiries about the money yet.
The mayor's office seemed to be unaware that Lanier was making more than her base pay. "Do not know where Examiner got $250k from," mayoral spokesperson Doxie McCoy emailed earlier. City Desk informed her that the number was accurate according to the letter from DHR. We're waiting on a response.