Top Adviser to Snyder Becomes State Employee

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- A top adviser to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder whose $100,000-a-year salary has been covered by a nonprofit fund now will be paid by the state.

The Detroit News reports that Rich Baird also gets a raise, with his pay now $140,000 annually as transformation manager after becoming a state employee Wednesday. Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel says the salary is comparable to other senior staff.

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

Wurfel said 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 other expenses for Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager.

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