Mayor gives Antoine Thompson new job

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Former State Senator Antoine Thompson has started his new job as Executive Director of the Buffalo Employment and Training Center.

Thompson's salary will be approximately $80,000 according to Mike DeGeorge, spokesman for Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown who appointed Thompson to the new position.

"I'm very passionate about helping people gets jobs," Thompson said. "I'm very excited about it. I'm looking forward to having the staff here being more proactive."

Thompson announced his new job on his Facebook page, saying, "I will play a critical role in helping people in Buffalo get jobs!!!!  I will supervise over 30 employees and support Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo and other key public, private, faith and community sector leaders in assisting people with job training and placement."

Thompson lost the 60th district State Senate seat in 2010 to his Republican opponent, Mark Grisanti.  Recently, he had been working as a real estate agent. But while a Senator, Thompson was on the Economic Development Committee. He was also involved in job development while on Buffalo's Common Council.

Mayor Brown said, "We wanted someone that would hit the ground running, that would have an understanding of the various government programming that flows through that center."

Thompson was involved in a few minor scandals during his time in office.  Tea Party activist Rus Thompson questioned a business trip the then-Senator took to Jamaica during a budget crisis in Albany in 2010.  Also in 2010 some lawmakers accused him of using taxpayer funds to create what they called a campaign tool.

The State Inspector General named Thompson in a report about the possible use of political favors to decide which company would be awarded rights to operate their services in a casino.

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In my opinion, the mayor has put the fox in the henhouse. This isn't good politics... It's blatant cronieism....

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