BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says he will cut spending on his office's executive staff, amid criticism that Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration is paying too much for his cabinet secretaries.

Dardenne, who serves as the governor's chief financial adviser, is receiving a $237,500 annual salary, a more than $33,000 increase. He defended his pay Monday, saying that was what the governor offered him for the job.

But Dardenne also says he intends to spend $400,000 less in his agency for executive staff. He described that as leading by example during the state's continuing budget problems.

When he was running for office, Edwards described former Gov. Bobby Jindal's cabinet secretary salaries as "exorbitant." But the Associated Press found that Edwards has kept most of those salaries and raised some higher.

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