Cuomo Passes the Buck on Paterson Investigation

By
Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This afternoon State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced that he was passing off the responsibility of investigating David Paterson's reported attempt to influence court proceedings against one of his own aides and his reported violation of state ethics laws regarding a few Yankees tickets. Though Paterson himself called for Cuomo to oversee the former investigation, Cuomo has appointed a special prosecutor to do it in his stead. The appointee, announced by an executive order from the AG's office, is former chief judge Judith Kaye. Cuomo explained his reasoning in a conference call with reporters, saying it stemmed from a desire to ensure that the public not retain any sense of suspicion about the legitimacy of the inquiry. His reasoning was stated a little bit more floridly in the executive order.


WHEREAS, the Commission's February 25, 2010 letter expressly requests that I conduct a criminal investigation of a sitting Governor of the State, at a time when all holders of Statewide elected office, including myself, must make decisions with respect to the upcoming general election in November 2010;

WHEREAS, every effort must by [sic] taken to promote public confidence that the investigations of the Johnson matter and the Yankee ticket matter are conducted in a fair, impartial and unbiased manner;

That's a nice little way to put it: " ... At a time when all holders of Statewide elected office, including myself, must make decisions with respect to the upcoming general election." See, actually, not all statewide elected officials must make such decisions. Some of them, David Paterson for example, had those decisions made for them.