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[This Just In]

Jacques’s generosity


Much has been made in Boston’s two major daily papers of the pay raises received by State Senator Cheryl Jacques’s partner, Jennifer Chrisler, while Chrisler worked as a staffer for the Needham legislator. When Jacques was first elected, in August 1993, Chrisler started working for her as an office assistant earning $25,000. She left in February 1998 as the staff director, with a salary of $48,000. Jacques maintains that the two had a professional relationship while Chrisler was employed by her office and that their personal relationship developed a year after Chrisler stopped working for her. Even so, the story has been spun somewhat salaciously — as if it were unusual for a political staffer to come on board in a low-level position and climb the ladder in salary and responsibility. In fact, Chrisler’s series of pay increases — which nearly doubled her salary over a five-year period — is fairly routine for Beacon Hill staffers.

Take Jacques’s own chief-of-staff, Angus McQuilken. McQuilken started with Jacques in January 1993 as an inexperienced chief-of-staff earning $25,000. He got a $10,000 raise eight months later to reflect his leadership position. Since then, he’s received annual raises. His last one, in August 2000, brought his salary to $60,197. His next raise, scheduled for next month, will bring his annual pay to $64,411. More to the point, however, is that in 1998, when Chrisler left her job with Jacques and was making $48,000 (representing a 92 percent jump in pay from her starting salary), McQuilken was making $54,600, a 118 percent jump from his starting salary. His next raise will boost his pay 157 percent above his 1993 salary.

So why haven’t we heard about that?

Issue Date: July 26 - August 2, 2001