On Halloween night last year, after allegedly choking his girlfriend Sherr-una Booker and shoving her into a dresser, Governor Paterson's aide, David Johnson, left Booker's apartment and made some calls. One of them was to the head of Paterson's security detail, Major Charles Day of the State Police. After Johnson told him about the incident, Day called Booker so quickly that the
NYDN NYPD had not yet arrived to her apartment in response to her 911 call. But Day wasn't trying to intimidate her, if that's what you're thinking.
Major Day, according to several people briefed on his account, has said that he regarded his call to Ms. Booker as innocent, that he was merely checking to see if she was all right or needed assistance.
How thoughtful! We imagine that the phone call between Johnson and Day had gone something like this:
Johnson: Hey Charles, it's me, David. I just got into an argument with my girlfriend, it got heated, things spun out of control. She called the police, I don't know what to do. This could ruin me and the governor. But more importantly, I'm worried about Sherr-una. She's probably really shaken up about this. She can be very sensitive.
Day: Oh that's terrible, I feel so bad for her.
Johnson: I know. Listen, why don't you give her a call, immediately, and make sure she's okay. She could really use some support right about now from someone random like yourself.
Day: Sure thing.
And yet, as convincing as the "I just called to say I love you" story is, Booker "clearly felt that she was being discouraged from pursuing charges or a case against Mr. Johnson" during her conversation with Day. So which was it: Was Day calling Booker out of concern for her, or out of concern for Johnson and the man he was sworn to protect, Governor Paterson? The next few days might shed some light on Day's motivations.
One thing that people briefed on the events of Oct. 31 are clear on is this: Major Day was deeply concerned that Mr. Johnson would be arrested, perhaps even in the presence of the governor. He made a series of calls that night to other officials of the State Police, and after speaking with Ms. Booker he had repeated conversations with Mr. Johnson.
Days later, Major Day was still worried that Mr. Johnson would either be arrested or be served with an order of protection, according to people with knowledge of Major Day’s actions. Mr. Paterson was scheduled to attend an election night party in New York City on Nov. 3, and so Major Day contacted the New York Police Department to ask if an arrest was likely. He was told it was not.
Kind of puts Day's phone call to Booker in perspective, doesn't it?