CARMEL - Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy is facing criticism after officials say he hired a department spokesperson who he is paying out of his own pocket.

Levy says he brought Michelle Carter onto his staff to handle the day-to-day media and public contacts for the department. County Legislator Sam Oliverio blasted the hiring, saying it was done without the normal screening given to other county workers.

Carter contends she's a private contractor. Levy says she went through a thorough background check before he hired her. He added that he had no media spokesperson until Carter was hired, unlike district attorneys in surrounding counties who have full-time spokespeople.

Putnam County Executive Maryellen Odell says they are in uncharted territory and that county regulations do not address the situation. She says Carter's hiring is still under review and that she may eventually leave it up to the county legislature to decide how to handle the dispute.

Levy is also embroiled in controversy over sexual assault charges against Alexandru Hossu, his personal trainer.