Top Snyder adviser Richard Baird to be paid by state - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Top Snyder adviser Richard Baird to be paid by state

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Richard Baird Richard Baird
(WJBK) -

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A top adviser to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Richard Baird, who Fox 2's Charlie LeDuff recently uncovered as "the most important man you've never heard of," is now a state employee as of Wednesday, Oct. 16.

His $100,000-a-year salary was previously covered by a nonprofit fund. The governor's office says that Baird will also get a raise, now getting paid $140,000 annually as transformation manager. Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel says the salary is comparable to other senior staff.

Snyder's New Energy to Reinvest and Diversify, or NERD, fund had been used to pay Baird since January 2011.

Wurfel tells The Detroit News the governor hopes to end "some of the unnecessary distractions" of Baird's employment arrangement with the change.

Snyder has said he doesn't know who contributes to the nonprofit fund, which also pays housing and some expenses for Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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