NY Gov Staff Gets Secret Raise Amid Pay “Freeze”
Despite asking New York State workers to forgo a 3% salary increase due to the state’s fiscal crisis, Governor David Patterson has granted pay raises to more than a dozen members of his staff totaling US$250,000 annually.
Gov. Patterson declared a “fiscal emergency” in August 2008 when the NY State budget reached US$15.5 billion and ordered a “hard” hiring freeze and cutting fiscal spending.
Those getting a raise include Paterson’s top aide, William Cunningham, a one-time law partner of the governor’s father; Charlotte Hitchcock, one of Cunningham’s deputies and a personal friend of the governor’s; confidential assistant Cassie Prugh; special office assistant Brendan Fitzgerald; and confidential secretary Lauren Passalacqua.
This is not the first time Gov. Patterson has been busted abusing tax payer money during a self-imposed “fiscal crisis”. The governor spent more than US$20,000 on hotels on himself and friends to attend Barack Obama’s innauguration last month, and was forced to cancel a trip to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum, which planned to atttend on the public’s dime.