The search is up! Governor Paterson has found his chief counsel: James Yates, a New York State Supreme Court Judge. An announcement is expected as early as today. Yates replaces Spitzer's chief counsel, David Nocenti, and is the newest addition to Paterson's inner circle, which can also be referred to sometimes as his outer circle, or the so-called Gang of Four: his father, Basil; Charlie Rangel; Percy Sutton; and David Dinkins.
Yates has a strong reputation as an able jurist, and one law-enforcement source involved in the replacement process said he edged out two other contenders for the job: Eric Schneiderman, a state senator; and Dan Castleman, director of investigations for Manhattan district attorney Bob Morgenthau. —Geoffrey Gray