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Small town northeast of Las Vegas pays big bucks for public employees

Updated February 28, 2024 - 2:16 pm

Mesquite is a small city filled with retirees, golf courses and some casinos about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Taxpayers also foot some hefty bills for city workers.

Mesquite city employees earned almost $15.7 million in gross annual wages in 2022. Among them, 47 employees took home more than $100,000 in wages, according to payroll data the Las Vegas Review-Journal obtained through a public records request.

Mesquite Police Chief MaQuade Chesley topped the list with around $180,470 in wages, followed by Fire Chief Jayson Andrus at around $159,530.

Their benefits also cost the most among city employees that year: Chesley’s was around $84,400, followed by Andrus at roughly $79,960, payroll data shows.

Among the city’s top-10 wage earners in 2022 — the latest year provided to the newspaper — all but two were from the police or fire departments, the data indicates.

Mesquite had almost 22,000 residents that year, with nearly 45 percent of its population aged 65 and up, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Here were the city of Mesquite’s top-10 earners in 2022, as ranked by gross wages listed in the payroll data:

— MaQuade Chesley, police chief: $180,472.95

— Jayson Andrus, fire chief: $159,531.97

— Shawn Tobler, deputy fire chief: $151,531.48

— Nicholas Montoya, athletics and leisure services director: $151,123.13

— Jordan Bundy, police captain: $150,236.87

— Quinn Averett, police captain: $149,804.42

— Christopher Rowley, police lieutenant: $146,786.72

— Tracy Fails, police lieutenant: $146,332.83

— Richard Secrist, development services director: $144,607.81

— William Martinez, fire captain: $144,584.71

A previous version of this story cited an attempt to reach Mesquite’s city manager for comment. He reportedly resigned last week.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342.

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