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 ….
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]