By Adam Andrzejewski
When negotiating pay packages for public employees, everything has to be on the table – because taxpayers are paying the bills. This includes pay, perks, and pension benefits.
Thankfully, in Nevada, the retirement annuity payouts to retired public employees are public record. Under the sunshine law, the Nevada Public Employee Retirement System (NVPERS) releases payouts for retired public employees. This makes sense because taxpayers help fund those pensions and guarantee them too.
Our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com reviewed the top retirees across state and local governments in Nevada. We found that the top retirees make up to $310,000.
#1 Chris Ault.: the former football coach at University of Nevada, Reno retired in 2012 and received $310,467 in retirement pension last year. Ault spent 28 years in coaching and built the football program at UNR. Since 2013, Ault received $2.3 million in retirement payout.
#2 Rossi Ralenkotter: the former president/CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. In 2019, Ralenkotter retired and last year received $289,380 in retirement pension. Ralenkotter was mired in allegations of scandal and eventually pled no contest in 2020 to a misdemeanor. In question was the misuse of Southwest gift cards for personal travel in a case brought forward by the Authority. His plea deal with prosecutors allowed him to keep his public pension. Since retirement, Ralenkotter has collected an estimated $1.1 million in pension payouts (2019-2022).
#3 Donald O’Shaughnessy: the former fire battalion chief in Clark County retired in 2010 on a $234,000 pension; however, he received $286,234 last year. That’s up $52,000 in just eight-years. Furthermore, O’Shaughnessy is making a lot more in retirement than he did in his last year working. In 2009, O’Shaughnessy made $224,000 in pay. We calculated that just since 2013, he collected $2.1 million in public pension income. O’Shaughnessy had 35 years of fire experience.
The fourth highest pension in the state went to former Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department undersheriff Roderick Jett who received $271,745 last year. When Jett retired in 2011, his position was not filled. In 2010, Jett was making $182,000 in pay.
The fifth highest pension in the state went to Kristina Quigley, the former Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada Southern Nevada director received $268,873 in pension. Quigley was at the agency for 14-years. In 2019, She retired at age 52.
Across Nevada, we found 35 retirees received retirement pensions exceeding $200,000 last year.
The median household income in Nevada was $62,000 in 2021, according to the Census Bureau.
Learn more at OpenTheBooks.com.