The crew of the S.S. Paterson is rapidly abandoning ship. On the heels of the resignations of Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Denise O'Donnell and State Police superintendent Harry Corbitt, Governor Paterson's communications director, Peter Kaufmann, announced this afternoon that he's stepping down, effective immediately. "As a former officer in the United States Navy, integrity and commitment to public service are values I take seriously," Kaufmann said in his statement. "Unfortunately, as recent developments have come to light, I cannot in good conscience continue in my current position."
What's Kaufmann so upset about? Probably, it's the report released by the Commission on Public Integrity yesterday, which demonstrated that Kauffman had been misled by Paterson about those free Yankee tickets:
According to Kauffmann’s testimony, the first conversation Kauffmann had with the Governor following Dicker’s inquiry was with the Governor alone. In this conversation, the Governor indicated that he was invited to the game by Randy Levine, President of the Yankees and a law school classmate of the Governor ....
Kauffmann emailed Dicker stating: “The Governor was invited by the Yankees to attend the opening game of the World Series in his official capacity, to represent the State of New York at a ceremonial occasion." ... Kauffmann also testified that Dicker called Kauffmann back and informed him that the Yankees were disputing the Governor’s account and that Levine had never invited the Governor to the game. Kauffmann testified that he relayed this conversation to the Governor, who then conceded to Kauffmann that Levine had not explicitly invited him to Game One.
In a more general sense, the responsibility of defending Governor Paterson has to be among the least desirable things that could be asked of someone these days. It should be a challenge on Fear Factor, right after the cow brains.
Paterson communications director resigns [Capitol Confidential/Times Union]