Paterson gives raises as he furloughs union workers

ALBANY - (AP) - Gov. David Paterson is shooting back atpublic employee unions that are accusing the Democrat of hypocrisyfor promoting some of his staff even as he tries to furlough stateworkers to save money.

Paterson gave raises of between $5,000 and $10,000 to four pressaides in recent days. They're filling positions vacated when hiscommunications director and press secretary resigned amid scandalsover a Paterson aide accused in a domestic violence case and freeWorld Series tickets provided to the governor by the New YorkYankees.

Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook says Wednesday that even with thepromotions, executive chamber salaries are down 20 percent andpress office salaries are down more than $300,000 since July 2008.

Hook says the unions are trying to distract the public.

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