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Amann Reverses Course, Will Not Join New Speaker's Staff
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Former House Speaker Jim Amann has reversed course and will not join the staff of the new House Speaker.

House Speaker Chris Donovan says Jim Amann first took the job as his senior advisor, but changed his mind after the two discussed how Amann would balance his staff duties with his planned run for governor in 2010.

On Friday, Donovan announced that Amann would be paid $120,000 to offer political guidance and oversee outreach to business and advocacy groups across the state.

Donovan still defends his decision to offer Amann the job, saying he would have brought a more conservative viewpoint to his staff. He says he made clear restrictions on Amann's political activities, and that even with the position, he was reducing the Speaker's staff budget by thirty percent. But Donovan now acknowledges it was a politically unpopular move.

"Not knowing all that, it seemed that maybe the proposal didn't seem to be a wise one. And Jim and I in talking about it realized, that if he wanted to pursue more political activities, it would be unrealistic working in my office."

Donovan says without Amann on staff, his office's personnel expenses are 58 percent less than when Amann held the post.

Amann did not return a call seeking comment.