Report: Cuomo Benefactors, Friends Hired by State

ALBANY (AP) -

The New York Times reports that the state’s Empire Development Corp. has hired 49 people in the first 20 months of the Cuomo administration and nearly a third were political associates, donors, friends or relatives of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The salaries of the jobs are as high as $150,000 a year.

Cuomo as a candidate and as governor has said he would hire only by merit and not use the political patronage system that has traditionally been a powerful tool of incumbents.

A Cuomo aide told The New York Times that hiring practices are improving and defended the hires as qualified. A statement later accused the newspaper of trying “create a scandal.”