Alan C. Nelson, abruptly ousted this week as immigration commissioner, will continue working as a consultant to help smooth the transition for his successor, the Justice Department said Thursday.
Nelson, a holdover from the Reagan Administration who was replaced Monday as head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, said he expected to continue working for several months as a consultant.
"There is a lot going on the last eight years that needs to be packaged for the new commissioner," said Nelson, commissioner since 1981.
Nelson said he would be paid the top consulting rate of $284.50 per day, the equivalent of an annual salary of $73,970. As commissioner, Nelson earned $80,700.
Nelson said he expects to work "on a relatively short-term basis. That could be three months or so."
Justice Department spokesman David Runkel confirmed that Nelson would remain as a consultant.
Nelson, criticized earlier this year in an audit of INS ordered by Atty. Gen. Dick Thornburgh, was replaced Monday by Deputy INS Commissioner James L. Buck as acting commissioner until a permanent replacement for Nelson is nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate.
Gene McNary, chief executive of St. Louis County, Mo., is expected to be nominated to the INS job.