City & State: Heard Around Town, Jan. 10

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City & State brings us late and breaking news from Albany to the Financial District. Sign up for City & State's First Read for all you need to know about politics in New York.

* Daniel Alter, a former adviser and general counsel to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who was an important part of the office’s mortgage settlement work over the past year, has been hired away to the state Department of Financial Services, headed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s former chief of staff Benjamin Lawksy. The hire could be seen as another blow in the reportedly volatile relationship between the Attorney General and the Governor. [] Alter will become Lawsky’s general counsel, spokesman David Neustadt said, and will make $142,000 a year — less than the $145,000 he made at the AG’s office. ”Danny Alter is an excellent attorney who will continue to serve the people of the state of New York with distinction,” said Schneiderman spokesman Danny Kanner. Alter, a former Manhattan Assistant U.S. Attorney, was recommended in January 2010 by Sen. Charles Schumer for nomination to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, but was not nominated. If he had been, he would have been one of very few openly gay judges on the federal bench.

* When the number of New York City residents receiving food stamps fell by 13,014 in November, critics of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s food stamp policy blamed his policy of fingerprinting applicants. The mayor’s office said it was a statistical blip, a drop of less than 1 percent out of 1.8 million people, but it was a bad headline right before the holidays – and before Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his intention to end the fingerprinting. Turns out it may well have been a blip after all: The number of people on food stamps went up 5,724 in December, new figures show. “They went up,” said Human Resources Administration Deputy Commissioner Connie Ress.

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