When corporate executives want to dodge a question, they sometimes get cute by saying "that's beyond my pay grade."
As the highest-paid employee of the State Legislature, Steven Boggess can't use that line.
Boggess, secretary of the Senate, made -- are you ready? -- $190,000 during the last budget year.
The governor, by contrast made, $179,000.
The secretary of the United States Senate, meanwhile, made $163,700.
Gee, who has the bigger job?
I don't know much about Boggess, other than he's the fellow who rejected my Freedom of Information request a while back seeking an electronic version of Senate expenditure reports. Boggess told me the reports did not exist in an electronic format, only in hard copy. About the same time, the Senate sent the reports, in an electronic format, to the folks who operate SeeThroughNY.
Curious as to what else he does beyond keeping public records out of the hands of reporters, I called the Senate press office Monday seeking a phone interview with Boggess. I figure with the Senate in recess, he'd have time to talk. I was wrong.
"He doesn't have time at this point to do media interviews. He's busy with other things," said Scott Reif, a spokesman for the majority, aka Republican, press office.
Gee, a week before the election, which involves the Republicans trying to hang onto their
one-seat majority, I can't image there is much government work going on in the Senate.
I asked a couple of Albany types, smart people in the know, what Boggess does. I got some puzzled answers. Maybe he manages the Senate floor, oversees the staff, stuff like that. I'm told he has a very nice office, just off the Senate chambers.
His chief qualification for the job appears to be as a longtime crony of former Senate
Majority Leader Joe Bruno. Worked on his staff for, like, forever, before getting selected for
the secretary's job.
Boggess heads up an operation that cost taxpayers $500,294 last budget year, most of it in salaries. He has two executive assistants, both making a little over $60,000. Then there are two deputy executive assistants, who between them pulled down $100,000. And an administrative assistant who made just shy of $37,000. And a couple of part timers.
There's speculation that Boggess may not be long for the job. He's no doubt a goner if the Democrats gain control of the Senate. And if the GOP hangs on, there's no assurance that Dean Skelos keeps him on -- after all, he's a Bruno guy.
Fear not for Boggess, however. Imagine the state pension he's in line for.