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Critics ripped Gov. David Paterson for approving pay hikes to at least five aides a day after the Legislature authorized unprecedented furloughs for state employees.

The governor granted five staffers promotion-based raises ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 a year. His communications director defended the move, saying those staffers are now shouldering the duties of workers who have since left the administration.

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Five staffers who got pay bumps have been identified.

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