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NJ’s AP runs mother of all corrections

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Gov. Chris Christie demanded his correction from the Associated Press, and he got it. And although it doesn’t use the word “correction” or “error” — or apologize for the mistake — the AP admitted that it goofed in ballooning a $440,000 difference in payroll under Christie to nearly $2 million more than under Jon Corzine.

“In an April 19 story about Gov. Chris Christie’s payroll, The Associated Press reported erroneously that he is spending nearly $2 million more on salaries a year than did his predecessor, former Gov. Jon Corzine.

“Treasury Department figures show the correct higher amount is about $440,000.

“Because the AP had incomplete figures for all those on Corzine’s payroll — some were paid by other departments but still worked for the governor — the AP also erroneously reported that twice as many people in Christie’s office earn $100,000 or more than they did in Corzine’s.

“Corzine had a payroll of $8.43 million for 118 people, not $7 million, according to Treasury figures. Christie has 117 employees, including himself, with a payroll of $8.86 million per year. Unlike his multimillionaire predecessor, Christie collects the $175,000 salary allowed under the law.”

However it added: “Based on those payroll figures, the average annual salary for Corzine staff in April 2009 was $71,440; the average under Christie is $75,726.”

Records obtained by the Asbury Park Press for the Corzine Administration’s salaries excluded “mobility” personnel on loan to the Governor’s Office from other departments.

Including them brings the total salary figure for Corzine’s crew to $8.3 million — not $7 million, as the AP reported — compared with a complete $8.9 million for 117 total employees under Christie.

At least a dozen of the “mobility” personnel under Corzine pulled down more than $1.1 million among them, the records show.

A spokesman for Christie said each and every employee — including more than a dozen “mobility” types on loan from other agencies — is included and identified by name on the the Governor’s Office website.

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