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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo is hiring two experienced hands for his administration, adding a manager to cut agencies and another to help the transition.

Cuomo is hiring Paul Francis to the new position of director of Agency Redesign and Efficiency. Francis was the widely respected top aide for former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and continued as director of state operations for Gov. David Paterson.

Francis also has extensive private sector experience and was a founder of the travel website Priceline.com.

Cuomo also hired Paterson’s chief of staff, Lawrence Schwartz. He will provide Cuomo with extensive insight into the inner workings of a governor’s office and how it negotiates with the Legislature and others.

Schwartz will serve a senior adviser to assist in the transition.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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