It's A Nice Taxpayer-Supported Gig For Former Chronicle Reporter Alan Bernstein

As we told you last month, 29-year-veteran Houston Chronicle reporter Alan Bernstein started off his new gig as communications director for Harris  County Sheriff Adrian Garcia by promising openness and transparency, a policy that did not quite include divulging his new salary.

"That will be a matter of public record once I start getting paid," he said.

It turned out to be not the easiest matter of public record to uncover once he started getting paid -- it took a surprising amount of time for Harris County to respond to our Open Records Act request -- but the information has finally been disclosed.

And, doing the math the county wouldn't do, we find that Bernstein is making a nice six-figure salary in his new job.

The county would only tell us his hourly salary, which was $50 an hour.

Simple math takes us to $104,000; talking with other county execs reveals that he won't be making overtime, although he will be eligible for comp time -- up to a maximum of 240 hours a year, the county auditor's office tells Hair Balls.

Salary of $104K, six weeks of comp time....that's not bad at all. He's making more than the spokesman for County Judge Ed Emmett, Joe Stinebaker, who's struggling at $44.38 an hour ($92,310 a year).

And unlike print media, being a spokesman for a politician is not a dying industry.

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