Governor Gives Job to Party Pal

Have been friends since the mid-80s

Gov. David Paterson is a real friend.

Don't worry if there's a hiring freeze, don't worry if you were seen in a slightly embarrassing photo opportunity with him -- he'll still hook you up.

Or at least that seems to be the message coming out of the news that the governor has hired his longtime buddy Gabrielle Turner, who was recently photographed partying with Paterson at a Manhattan nightclub.

Turner was hired on July 20 as a deputy director for state and federal affairs in the Washington D.C. office, at $88,000 a year, the Daily News reported.

Paterson and his pal were photographed together just over a week later at the Taj nightclub on West 21st street at a party for Rhonda Cowan, an exec for BET.

The governor's spokeswoman Marissa Shorenstein told the News that Turner and Cowan are cousins.

Paterson and Turner partied the night away at Taj on July 29th, and the governor didn't leave until 1 a.m. -- the night before another barrel of bad budget news.

State Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long described Paterson's behavior as "outrageous" to the News.

"He just doesn't seem to get it," Long said. "I guess at some point he'll be driven out of office if he continues with the profile that he lays out."

"He announces a severe budget crisis, he's in the club the night before. He puts in place a hiring freeze and he breaks it with an acquaintance."

Shorenstein told the News Turner volunteered for Paterson's campaign in 1986 and they have been friends since then.

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