Lanier makes $253,817 yearly. When hired in 2007, she made a base salary of $175,000, which has since risen to about $230,000. The additional increment is due to negotiated department-wide salary increases and extra pay awarded for her 20 years of service.
According to the city personnel department, Lanier is the fourth-highest-paid police chief in the country.
A report approved by the D.C. Council’s government operations committee today “recognizes the hard work and dedication of the Chief, and further notes that, in comparison to other jurisdictions, the Chief is very well compensated and receives a highly competitive annual salary.”
The committee recommended that Lanier be paid no more than her current pay. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“We put on the brakes,” said Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), the panel’s chairwoman. “This is it.”
The panel also recommended that the $275,000 salary for D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya K. Henderson not be raised. That is what her predecessor, Michelle A. Rhee, made.
“Data provided by [the city personnel department] reveal that the Chancellor’s current salary is tens of thousands of dollars higher than what similar employees earn annually, and this does not even take into account the small number of students, comparatively speaking, for which the DCPS Chancellor is responsible,” the report reads. It also acknowledges that “DCPS is a struggling school system, and thus any Chancellor will have a difficult job ahead to improve the system’s performance.”
The full D.C. Council will vote Tuesday on the recommendations, prompted by a request by Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) to approve above-schedule salaries for Henderson, Lanier and two other city officials.
Gray had also sought to change the salary schedule for executive appointees, which would allow him and future mayors to pay top officials as much as $279,000 without council approval, rather than the current $179,096.
The panel rejected any change to the current schedule, writing that it “does not believe that the existing statutory maximum of $179,096 is a disincentive for any potential employees of the District, nor does the Committee believe that the Executive needs the authority, even with a requirement for Council approval, to offer salaries of up to $100,000 above the existing statutory maximum, under the guise of needing to attract the best talent to the District.”
But Cheh said Friday she was willing to “take a broader look” at the city’s executive compensation practices in the future.