David W. Johnson has worked for Gov. David A. Paterson for much of his adult life. He began as a young, ambitious intern from Harlem when Mr. Paterson was a state legislator. He rose to be Mr. Paterson's driver, serving as a kind of protector and scheduler.
In recent months, however, Mr. Johnson's ascent has been striking: he is now one of the most senior people in the governor's administration, paid $132,000.