B.C. Premier Christy Clark is defending the severance payments to 13 senior officials dismissed when she took office in March — including a large payout to a public servant just recently hired.

Clark said Friday she had to make changes and she played by the rules while incurring $2.47-million in payments.

Professional administrator Paul Taylor, hired in October as former Premier Gordon Campbell's chief of staff, was handed $114,000 severance.

Taylor has held a series of high-paying posts, including B.C. deputy minister of finance, president of ICBC and CEO of the B.C. power company, Naikun Wind Energy Group Inc.

Taylor had a $1.1 million annual stipend at Naikun and took $600,000 severance when he left the company last summer.

No more dismissals planned

His latest contract with the B.C. government called for $195,000 a year, CBC News has learned.

Campbell announced his surprise resignation in Nov. 3, nine days after Taylor's contract was signed. Campbell eventually left office in March — four and a-half months after Taylor was hired.

"I think it's fair to question, that," said Clark. "I think if you're going to get a severance package, you should be working at the job a little bit longer than that. But as I said, I'm dealing with the rules I got."

Clark said the government has to pay competitive salaries and compensation packages to lure great people.

The new premier said she's not planning any more big civil servant shakeups soon.

"This, I hope, will be the end of that."

With files from the CBC's Jeff Davies