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Despite belt-tightening, two former Assembly members get high-paying jobs from governor

January 21, 2009 | 11:13 am

Aghazarian Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger faced criticism recently for finding six-figure jobs on state boards and commissions for a favored few -- departing political aides, termed-out lawmakers -- who needed soft landing spots when their tenures ended.

The governor's timing was bad: He had just ordered state workers furloughed two days a month because of California's cash crisis. He has made more appointments. He put former Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian, a Republican from Stockton, on the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board for a salary of $128,109 a year.

Term limits forced Aghazarian to leave the Legislature at the end of November. Schwarzenegger also appointed former Assemblywoman Nicole Parra of Hanford as director of the Governor’s Regional Development Initiatives under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.

Parra is a Democrat who angered party leaders last year when she endorsed a Republican for the Assembly seat she was forced to vacate because of term limits. Her post pays $128,124 a year.

-- Patrick McGreevy

Photo: Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian (R-Stockton). Credit Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press