Paterson Announces Top State Appointments

Deputy secretary for health, state operations among posts named

New York Gov. David Paterson chose a longtime former teacher from Batavia as his deputy secretary for education.

Duffy Palmer will fill the position he's held on interim status since Aug. 19. The former Batavia City School District teacher will earn $161,000 annually. He previously was assistant deputy secretary for education and director of education policy under former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

Palmer trained teachers on working with students with special needs through the Genesee-Wyoming BOCES around western New York. He also worked on local initiatives with the Rochester City School District and worked for Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy.

Paterson Tuesday also named Dennis Whalen director of state operations. Whalen had been performing the same duties in an interim position since July 8. Previously, he was deputy secretary for health and human services. In that post he was the chief health care advisor to the governor and responsible for policies and operations of the state's health and human services agencies.

Whalen will receive a salary of $178,000.

Paterson appointed Joe Baker as deputy secretary for health and human services. Baker has been acting deputy secretary since July. His position pays $165,000.

He previously worked as the health care bureau chief under

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