Whoever emerges from the struggle to succeed outgoing Buncombe Register of Deeds Otto DeBruhl will inherit a well-funded office. DeBruhl is one of the highest-paid registers in the state, with one of the largest, most highly-compensated staffs.
According to figures from the School of Government at UNC Chapel Hill, DeBruhl makes $128,850 a year. By comparison, Wake County’s register of deeds makes $110,777, Guilford County’s register makes $103,117 and Mecklenburg, the most populous county in the state, has an average compensation of $88,844 (though it has gone as high as $133,266) for its register of deeds.
DeBruhl’s staff also do quite well, and is one of the largest, highest-paid in the state. The documents reveal the DeBruhl’s office has 20 deputy staff, making between $34,041 to $56,794 a year. By comparison, Wake County employs 26 deputies making $25,500 to $42,500 a year and Guilford has 19 deputies making $32,345 to $54,987. DeBruhl’s long time Assistant Register of Deeds JoAnne Morgan, who is vying to replace him, earns $73,216 a year.
DeBruhl has occupied the office for 32 years, and announced his retirement on Jan. 31.
— David Forbes, senior news reporter