After congratulationg Bell Atlantic honcho Fred Salerno on the merger that created Verizon, McCall cited the state's $143 million in shares - then urged Salerno to consider his daughter as a job candidate. 

"Under separate cover, I am sending the résumé we discussed," McCall wrote in the Aug. 19, 1997, letter on official state stationery. 

In another mailing, McCall sent Salerno a two-page resumé for Marci McCall, his daughter, who wrote that her goal is "to obtain a position coordinating or directing special events and/or community relations." 

Marci McCall was hired by Verizon in November 1998 and worked in one of the company's customer-service centers as a "specialist." 

But her employment at the telecommunications giant abruptly ended in March last year, when she was fired for using her company credit card for personal expenses. 

Marci McCall was charged with larceny for allegedly writing $97,000 in bad checks to try to cover the expenses, but prosecutors dropped the case three months later because she repaid Verizon $24,000 that she owed. 

Marci McCall now works in marketing for Sweetheart Cups, a firm owned by Carl McCall's running mate, Dennis Mehiel. 

McCall spokesman Steve Greenberg said the comptroller did nothing improper in writing to the phone-company executive. 

"The comptroller frequently corresponds with top executives of the companies in which he invests pension funds," Greenberg said. 

"He and Mr. Salerno have known each other professionally and personally for many years. In that role, he forwarded a résumé separate and apart from his role as comptroller." 

Reached yesterday, Salerno said he didn't remember getting McCall's letter or having a role in hiring Marci. 

"I don't recall it," said Salerno, a Verizon vice president. 

"A lot of people were sending me letters, congratulating me on the merger, but I don't remember talking to McCall about that or about his daughter. 

"I'm not trying to pull a Ronald Reagan, but I don't recall being involved in this at all. Maybe there were multiple approaches to the company," Salerno said. 

Democrat McCall is in an increasingly tight race for governor with Republican incumbent George Pataki. The latest polls put Pataki ahead by 11 percentage points. 

In the 1997 letter, McCall tells Salerno how pleased he is with the merger of NYNEX and Bell Atlantic, which was completed about a month before the letter was written. 

"I am particularly pleased because New York's Retirement Fund, which I manage, owns 3,833,300 shares of the combined companies," McCall wrote in the letter. 

At the time that McCall wrote Salerno, the state's investment in the company created by the merger - eventually named Verizon - was worth $143 million.