Though he ran on a campaign to streamline state government after years of Democratic excess, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has quietly created new high-paying positions and layers of bureaucracy that, in many cases, reward legislative allies, campaign workers and others who helped him get elected, state payroll records show.

These new positions are among hundreds of other new hires that are expected when any administration comes into office - from Cabinet secretaries to policy advisers and clerical staff.

With this administration, the staffing turnover was compounded when only the second Republican since World War II took control of the governor's office and its considerable patronage powers.

"The turnover's more dramatic because they are dismissing people that [previous Gov. Parris N.] Glendening probably didn't feel like he had to dismiss when he took office," said James G. Gimpel, an associate professor of government at the University of Maryland, College Park.

As of early last month, the governor had hired 124 people to state jobs paying $70,000 or more, according to payroll records. And more are going on the payroll with each passing week.

But beyond the expected replacements, Ehrlich is creating positions for political allies and contributors, even as the state struggles to bring a $1 billion budget shortfall under control and as deep funding cuts to the University System of Maryland and state agencies force administrators to explore layoffs, unparalleled tuition increases and cutbacks in services.

Some examples:

Malik Rahman, a longtime Baltimore political operative who had been a paid staffer for Ehrlich's campaign, landed a new $71,123-a-year job in the state Housing Department to "look at options" for financing housing projects.

Three new assistant secretary positions were created in the state's Planning Department that pay $66,884 to $80,312. The three people hired had campaigned for Ehrlich, one as a paid campaign staff member, the others as volunteers.

Tim E. Braue, a lawyer who headed President Bush's campaign in Maryland in 2000, was appointed to a new $90,270 position as special assistant to the secretary of the Department of Business and Economic Development. He said his main responsibility initially was to coordinate the department's Preakness events, but he also will be working to get more federal grants flowing into the state economic development agency.

Since taking office in mid-January, Ehrlich has found work for dozens of prominent Republican officeholders, former legislators or their wives or relatives. Some were hired for newly created jobs; others are filling positions that existed previously. How many have been hired into newly created positions is difficult to determine because some agencies have been reorganized and some jobs have been retitled.

Ehrlich's spokesman, Greg Massoni, said that the administration is proud of its hiring decisions. In reorganizing state government to make it more efficient, Massoni said, the administration is cutting many positions even as it adds others.

"There are not just political thank-yous on that list," Massoni said. "It's not business as usual. We have looked for the brightest and best and that's who we've gone after, regardless of party affiliation."

He pointed out the appointment of people such as former Democratic Del. Kenneth C. Montague Jr. as secretary of the Juvenile Services Department and others to other prominent positions.

However, some appointments have had clear political overtones.

For example, a waiver was granted to circumvent an existing hiring freeze to hire Julie S. Madden, wife of Ehrlich political adviser Martin G. Madden. She was appointed the director of arts and community outreach in the Department of Business and Economic Development. She was an art history major in school, served as a trustee of Maryland Citizens for the Arts and was on the board of the African Art Museum of Maryland in Columbia.

Massoni noted that the state's annual payroll costs overall are down "well over $500,000" since Ehrlich assumed office, largely because many positions are left unfilled as they become vacant. The state employs about 108,000 people, including those working for colleges and universities, and has an annual payroll of $5.3 billion.

Government policy experts say it is normal for any new administration to want to bring in as many of its people as it can. A new governor has to put into key positions people who will be loyal and who can be counted on to execute his policies, said Gimpel, the University of Maryland professor.

"Loyalty is even first over experience and competency," Gimpel said. "You want all three, but loyalty is the first."