Post Now Making Hiring, Firing Decisions for Paterson

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"I like your tie, Charles. Give it to me." Photo: AP

Back in October, the Post discovered that Governor Paterson's chief of staff, Charles O'Byrne, had failed to pay taxes for five years, to the tune of $300,000. O'Byrne's excuse — that he didn't pay up because he was suffering from depression — was less than convincing, and was mocked on the Post's front page. On October 23, an editorial in the paper contended, "O'Byrne needs to go. Now." O'Byrne resigned the next day, under reported pressure from Paterson. Nicely done!

Now the Post is having a surprising change of heart. An editorial in yesterday's paper argued that O'Byrne is the savior that Paterson and the state need, and urged Paterson to rehire him before it's too late. When a reporter later asked the Cuddle Guv what he thought about the suggestion, Paterson called it "a fascinating idea" and said it's "certainly a conversation that I would have." Insiders are thinking there's a real possibility of it happening. What does Paterson have to lose? With his poll numbers tanking (and, really, the whole not-paying-taxes thing is played out by now anyway), he might as well try to jump-start things by bringing his closest adviser — besides the Post, that is — back to his side.