A few months ago, long before the Times “bombshells” exploded, Governor Paterson received five free tickets to a World Series game at Yankee Stadium, courtesy of the Yankees. When pressed by the Post, Paterson said he went to the game in an official capacity even though his son and his son’s friend also received free tickets, and even though Paterson didn’t do anything remotely official in nature at the game. After some more obfuscating and backpedaling, Paterson finally decided to just pay the Yankees back. Well, that’s not good enough for the Public Integrity Commission, which today charged Paterson with violating state ethics laws. But that’s not all. According to its report:
In other words, instead of taking the heat for receiving some free Yankees tickets — which Paterson mistakenly thought was okay because he’s the governor, and probably wouldn’t even have been that big of a deal — Paterson did what he does worst: went into cover-up mode. He said under oath that he always intended to pay for the tickets, and that he personally wrote a check before the game — two claims easily disproven by contemporaneous evidence gathered by the Commission. In fact, he didn’t even write the check.
Oh, the “Johnson” in there is David Johnson, who also attended the game. He either forged Paterson’s check and was complicit in the cover-up, or someone else forged both Paterson’s and Johnson’s check; it’s unclear. Either way, what a good-luck charm that guy is.
The matter has been referred to the Albany County D.A. and to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, whose office is increasingly becoming devoted primarily to investigating the transgressions of the governor of the state.
Public integrity commission charges Paterson over Yankee tickets [NYP]
Gov Slapped With Ethics Charge » [Daily Politics/NYDN]