Report: Aide to Paterson's Wife Got $25K Raise

The chief of staff to Gov. David Paterson's wife received a 28 percent pay raise right around the time that 130,000 state workers were told they wouldn't get their typical 3 percent raise, according to a report.

Michele Clarke-Ceres was hired in July with a salary of $88,000 a year to serve as Michelle Paige Paterson's "special assistant," Tuesday's New York Post reported.

Several months later, Clarke-Ceres' salary was increased to $113,000, retroactive to October, giving her a nearly $4,000 bonus, The Post reported.

Last week, another Post report brought to light other pay increases totalling $250,000 per year -- some individuals got 46 percent raises -- again after Paterson's declaration that the state budget was in an "emergency" crisis.

The assistant's name is on a Department of State list, but not on a list of senior staffers who received the hefty raises from Paterson, The Post reported.

A spokesman for the governor said Clark-Ceres first served Paterson as his chief of protocol, then took on the additional title of Mrs. Paterson's chief of staff, essentially saving the state money for doing two jobs, according to the report.

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