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A Niagara County Legislature committee voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of doubling the salary of Robert M. Pusateri, the attorney who is working part-time reviewing the bills submitted by court-assigned defense lawyers.

Pusateri, who was to be paid $10,000 as assigned counsel administrator this year, will earn $20,000 if the full Legislature agrees.

Majority Leader Malcolm A. Needler, R-North Tonawanda, said Pusateri will continue to be the lowest-paid lawyer on the county payroll.

The vote came after a closed session of the Administration Committee on a proposal to pay Pusateri an extra $40 an hour to cover his office expenses.

Needler said Pusateri will have to continue to pay those out of his salary.

Also after the closed session, Minority Leader Dennis F. Virtuoso dropped his proposal to bar union workers from taking paid sick days to get elective cosmetic surgery.

He said he was informed it would violate union contracts.

The panel tabled his proposal to charge the cost of the surgeries, which are covered by the county's health plan, to a budget line set aside for anticipated union raises. It will be reconsidered later.

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