Frank LaGrotta is no longer a state legislator, but he's getting paid like one. The Ellwood City resident, who lost a re-election bid last year, has been hired for one year by House Democrats at a salary of $73,613. The salary, which was confirmed by the chief clerk's office of the House, is the same amount current legislators are being paid. In addition, he is entitled to benefits, which include health insurance, dental and vision care and life insurance, plus an employee pension. LaGrotta, who served 20 years representing the 10th District, is assisting new House members set up their district offices. Tom Andrews, spokesman for House Democratic leader William DeWeese, noted that the chamber has 27 new Democrats, but added LaGrotta could assist other members also. "Obviously, if other members need him, he's available to them as well," he said. Andrews said LaGrotta was selected because of his experience. Last week, LaGrotta told the New Castle News that his pay varies. He said he received $1,300 in January, which would work out to just $15,600 over the course of a year. "It's based on how much (work) I do every month," he said at the time. State Rep. Jaret Gibbons, who defeated LaGrotta in last year's primary, said he had not received any assistance from his predecessor. Attempts to reach LaGrotta were unsuccessful.

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