Ensign staff may remain temporarily

Sen. John Ensign’s final day in office on May 3 does not necessarily mean the final day of work for his staffers as well.

A resolution the Senate passed in 1984 allows staff members of senators who die or resign mid-term to remain on the Senate payroll for a period not to exceed 60 days, although that could be extended by the Committee on Rules and Administration.

The Secretary of the Senate would oversee the workings of the staff. Its task would be "to complete the closing of the office," including cataloging, boxing and shipping the senator’s papers to an archive of his choosing, closing out casework if possible and referring still-open cases to another designated office.

The Nevada Republican, who delivered his resignation last Friday to Vice President Joe Biden, has not disclosed what he wants done with his official papers or what will happen to his casework load.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said Friday he intends to name a replacement before May 3.

Ensign employed 53 people in his Washington and Nevada staffs, according to records through Sept. 30, 2010, compiled by Legistorm, a congressional tracking service. His fiscal year 2010 payroll was $2.6 million.

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