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Payoff for Pigeon

Is it about reform, power or simply a job?

When it comes to Steve Pigeon, it looks like it's Door Number Three.

Tom Golisano's political go-to guy is in line for a big job with the state Senate in the wake of Monday's Republican coup.

Reports my colleague Tom Precious:

Sources say Pigeon is being eyed as a top counsel to Sen. Pedro Espada, the Bronx Democrat who was backed by 32 senators Monday as the new president of the Senate -- putting him first in the line of succession to Gov. David A. Paterson.

Speculation has been flowing all day that Pigeon would be made the new Senate secretary, the top staff position in the 62-member house. Earlier in the day, Espada and the new majority leader, Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican, called on Angelo Aponte, the current secretary, to resign. Aponte is a loyalist to Sen. Malcolm Smith, who was ousted as majority leader in Monday's GOP takeover.

The New York Daily News has a similar take.

If, in fact, Pigeon gets the job as chief counsel to Espada - presumably to advise him on legislative matters, as opposed represent in the case involving the imposition of some $60,000 in fines for violations of the campaign finance law, Tommy's Boy is in line for a salary that could rival that of the governor.

The Senate's top-paid lawyer last year, when the Republicans were last in control, made $180,000. 

If Pigeon lands the secretary's's job, the pay day could be even bigger. The last guy to hold it under Republican control made $190,000.

How much you want to bet Baby Joe Mesi comes out of this with a job, regardless of his party affiliation.


State government
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