AUSTIN — A third top official in Ken Paxton’s office was kept on the payroll after she left the agency — this time for nearly six months — state records show, raising more questions about the attorney general’s use of a benefit designed for state employees in extraordinary circumstances.Former staff attorney Martha Fitzwater Pigott left Paxton’s office on Aug. 31, amid turmoil over a $310 million technology contract that she and a team of lawyers oversaw and which was later stalled. But Pigott was paid her salary, about $56,000, plus benefits through Feb. 12 as part of “emergency leave,” according to records provided by Paxton’s office and state salary data.Pigott was supposed to receive only about a third of that. In a separation letter, a former supervisor referred to it as an offer of two months of “administrative leave.” Her personnel file details no reason for the separation or the paid leave. It also does not indicate whether the former general counsel quit or was fired from her $113,000-a-year job.
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