Hey, remember Troopergate? The scandal over whether Eliot Spitzer's office improperly used the State Police to produce damaging evidence that former State Senate majority leader Joe Bruno improperly used state-owned vehicles (cars and aircraft) to travel from upstate to New York City on trips that included both state business and politicking? Well, if not, it's okay — it was the Spitzer scandal before the Spitzer scandal. But the whole thing has been seething onward since it began in the summer of 2007. The State's Commission on Public Integrity (whose own integrity has been questioned by Governor Paterson, who recently called on the entire board to resign) has already settled charges with two other members of Spitzer's inner circle, and just this week announced a $10,000 fine for Dopp's participation in Troopergate.
Dopp claims that he requested info on Bruno's travels at the behest of curious members of the press, and that a handful of other people were involved in the plot. But he was in charge of collecting the information from the State Police, and after Spitzer suspended him indefinitely, he became the fall man. Dopp, for his part, says he plans to fight back against this latest, expensive indignity. "I am the first public information officer in history to be sanctioned for releasing public records in response to a media request and at the specific direction of the governor," he told the Times. "I believe the decision was tainted, erroneous and unfounded. I intend to sue to the commission."
We think Dopp should just try to get Spitzer to pony up the money. After all, it's not like he hasn't shelled out that much for someone to bend over backwards and take it for him during a scandal before. (Too much? You know the Times was dying to make that joke, too.)
Spitzer Aide Is Fined by State and Says He Will Sue [CityRoom/NYT]
Ex-Spitzer aide Darren Dopp slapped with $10K fine for role in Troopergate scandal [NYDN]
Related: Read Steve Fishman's New York story of what happened behind the scenes during Troopergate: All the Governor's Men.