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Think tank crunches salary numbers of Nevada’s public employees

For those looking to probe just exactly how the public pays government employees in Nevada, the Nevada Policy Research Institute’s annual salary number crunch is out.

Each year, the libertarian think tank highlights a few findings. This year, large retirement payouts of unused leave stood out, Robert Fellner, the institute’s director of transparency research, said.

The total compensation for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s retired Lt. Dennis Flynn in 2015 was $500,835. Of that, $268,076 was unused leave.

Metro Deputy Chief Alan Salinas also saw a large unused leave payout when he retired: $305,753. That made up the bulk of his total 2015 compensation of $456,096.

The departure of North Las Vegas’ police chief also came with a hefty unused leave payout. Joseph Chronister collected $269,420 in unused leave, for a total compensation of $432,006 in 2015.

Fellner said hundreds of dollars in unused leave for a single government employee raise this question: If the leave is going unused, why was it given in the first place?

A call to Metro and a call to North Las Vegas’ Finance Director Darren Adair was not returned by press time.

The institute has been collecting public employee salary data and parsing it for its searchable online database, Transparent Nevada, since 2007.

Transparent Nevada is built using information pulled from 125,000 records obtained via public records requests made to Nevada’s many local and state government agencies. It’s information anyone can get on his own, but many people don’t because public records requests are time-consuming.

“We think it’s very, very important for taxpayers to know where their dollars are going,” Fellner said.

Contact Bethany Barnes at bbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Find her on Twitter: @betsbarnes

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