- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The Republican challenger for New York attorney general would take a steep pay cut if elected.

John Cahill, 56, who was former Gov. George Pataki’s chief of staff and a state conservation commissioner, is trying to unseat Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The attorney general has a salary of $151,500 for directing a large staff that defends the state in lawsuits, monitors charities, investigates consumer and civil rights complaints and conducts some criminal investigations and prosecutions.

A decade of tax returns released Friday showed Cahill’s adjusted gross income last year topped $768,000.

It rose as high as $1.2 million in 2008, mostly from his work as a lawyer and consultant but included nearly $84,000 from his post on the state Commission on Investigation, which was shuttered the following year. Pataki appointed Cahill to the group with oversight of corruption probes statewide shortly before leaving office at the end of 2006.

In 2013, Cahill’s income included $569,000 advising clients on energy and environmental issues at the Chadbourne & Park law firm in Manhattan. He also was paid $117,000 as a board member of Hudson Valley Corp., a bank headquartered in his Yonkers hometown, and $102,000 consulting on energy and environmental issues for the Pataki-Cahill group, his partnership with the ex-governor.

Schneiderman, 59, reported almost $298,000 of income last year, including $141,000 from dividends and investments.

A Quinnipiac poll released this week showed that if the election were held now, 46 percent of likely voters would choose Schneiderman while 34 percent would select Cahill. Another 18 percent were undecided.

The poll of 1,153 New Yorkers had a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

The candidates are scheduled to debate in suburban Buffalo on Oct. 30 five days before the election. Time Warner Cable News says it will be televised statewide.

Their most recent campaign filings show Schneiderman spending $3.1 million mostly for advertising in the past few months, with $4.7 million left.

Cahill spent $1.4 million with a balance of almost $289,000.

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