Former Riley aide hired amid hiring freeze

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh has been hired as a special assistant to the state finance director, an $80,000-a-year job that the Montgomery Advertiser says was taken on the same day Gov. Bob Riley ordered a state employee hiring freeze.

Finance Department spokeswoman Gina Smith said she did not know if the position was newly created, but said the department did not add an employee. The hiring freeze was announced Monday, but Smith said the process to hire Cavanaugh started three or four weeks ago.

Cavanaugh first served as Riley's deputy chief of staff before leaving to serve as chairman of the Alabama Republican Party from 2005 to 2007.

She returned as senior adviser to Riley before leaving earlier this year to run for president of the Public Service Commission. She was defeated in the Nov. 4 election.

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