NY Senate Democrats OK hires for new leader

By By The Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Democrats in New York's Senate not only gave Sen. Pedro Espada a lucrative post after he allowed them to regain majority control of the chamber. They also approved $350,000 to hire his friends and give raises to staffers.

Democrats lured Espada back in July, a month after a Republican-dominated coalition gave him a leadership post in exchange for supporting a coup that briefly seized the majority. The Times Union of Albany reported the hiring and raises Wednesday.

State records show the Democratic conference approved hiring Jerry Love Jr., a former employee at Espada's Bronx health clinic, for a Senate staff position. Love's mother, Sandra Love, was also employed at the clinic. She pleaded guilty in 2004 to steering state AIDS funding to Espada's campaign.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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