ATLANTIC CITY — Jeff Chiesa, the former U.S. senator and friend of Gov. Chris Christie who put in charge of the state takeover of this city, is being paid double the normal rate of firms that contract with the state and eight times what the mayor earns.

The former state attorney general was appointed in November to lead the state's takeover of Atlantic City's finances after Mayor Don Guardian and the City Council failed to come up with a plan that the Christie administration found acceptable.

According to a letter from state Attorney General Christopher Porrino,  Chiesa's firm Chirea, Shahinian & Giantomasi and was retained at a rate of $400 per hour for senior partners, $350 for partners, $240 for associates and $90 for paralegals. Chiesa is the primary contact.

NJ.com reported most legal firms contracted to do work for the state are paid at a rate of $200 an hour for partners but in the case of "complex litigation" a rate can be negotiated with the Attorney General.

Based on 40-hours a week of work, Chiesa would earn $16,000 a week or $832,000 a year. Guardian earns $103,000 annually, or $49.52 per hour based on an eight-hour work day.

Christie appointed Chiesa as his first attorney general when he took office in 2009. He was appointed to fill the Senate seat of Frank Lautenberg when he died in 2013; Cory Booker was later elected to the office.

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