With Governor Paterson under the microscope now more than ever, this is probably a poor time for him to further ratchet up his erratic behavior. And yet, how else can you describe his recent decision to push out his secretary/chief of staff William Cunningham, then quietly rehire him the next day to a different position? “Actually, I didn’t rehire him. We just put him back where he had been,” Paterson told reporters yesterday. “He’s been very hardworking and had been very effective there.”
This explanation doesn’t completely pass muster for a number of reasons: (a) Cunningham now has a new job helping to oversee the distribution of stimulus funds, so he’s not “where he had been”; (b) Paterson recently claimed to have imposed a “hard hiring freeze”; (c) Paterson “had privately told several associates he was dumping Cunningham for poor performance”; and (d) Cunningham is being paid $5,000 more than his boss. Not that we really care so much about the intricacies of Paterson’s personnel decisions. But come on, erstwhile Cuddle Guv, this is getting ridiculous. We want to like you, but please, get your act together!