Inglewood mayor’s campaign worker made $312,000 last year as his assistant

A former campaign worker for Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts lifted her fortunes after following him to City Hall as his assistant in 2011, rebounding from a personal bankruptcy to a position that earned her $312,000 in total compensation last year.

Melanie McDade-Dickens, who served as Butts’ office manager during his first campaign for mayor, is now one of the highest paid employees in his administration. Her total pay skyrocketed from from $73,850 in 2013 to $245,436 last year, according to data obtained from Transparent California, a database of public salaries.

McDade-Dickens’ total salary in 2017 surpassed those of the city’s deputy police chief as well as the public works and human resources directors. Long Beach, Pasadena and Irvine — all much larger cities — pay about the same salary for their assistant city managers. By comparison, Butts earned $111,303 in salary and another $17,000 in benefits in 2017 as Inglewood’s full-time mayor.

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