Despite enacting a state hiring freeze, the Paterson administration created a $140,000-a-year job for a recently retired Queens assemblyman.
Ivan Lafayette, 78, was named deputy superintendent for community affairs at the state Insurance Department.
Lafayette, who was elected to the Assembly in 1976, is making much more in his new gig than the combined $104,500 he earned in legislative salary and stipends.
The higher pay will also help him boost his pension, which is based on the combined average of the last three years of a person's salary.
In April, Paterson told agencies they could fill only "absolutely essential" openings. In July, he took it a step further, saying his office had to approve new hires.
Insurance Department spokesman Andy Mais said "Mr. Lafayette's appointment was approved through the budget freeze waiver process as would any fill during the hiring freeze." He did not say why the new position was deemed critical.
Paterson spokesman Errol Cockfield said Lafayette's hiring "was a preexisting commitment."
Lafayette said in July he was not seeking reelection and had been offered a job in the Paterson administration.
What hiring freeze? Big state payday for ex-Queens assemblyman