Cheryl Pallotta, wife of Islip Democratic chairman Jerry Pallotta, began work last week as a $43,937-a-year assistant election clerk at the Suffolk Board of Elections.
Critics called the hiring a reward to chairman Pallotta, whose town committee abandoned Legis. Rick Montano in favor of Monica Martinez, who was backed by County Executive Steve Bellone and beat the veteran lawmaker, first in the primary and then in the general election.
But Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, said the hiring had nothing to do with Martinez's race and that he has known Pallotta's wife since they were kids from the same neighborhood in North Babylon, long before she knew her husband. -- Rick Brand