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AUSTIN, Texas -- Top Texas prison system officials have been given significant raises by an executive director whose own pay hike has raised complaints.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that Brad Livingston awarded raises from 8 to 23 percent to division directors at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The system's medical director's salary went from $309,000 to $375,000, and the deputy executive director and chief financial officer went from $133,301 to $150,000.

TDCJ spokesman Jason Clark says the raises were necessary to retain and recruit top leaders.

But Brian Olsen, head of a union of correctional officers, says the salary hikes make him want to puke.

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