Gov. Paterson’s personal aide David Johnson, whose relationship with the governor was recently scrutinized by the Times, attended a Giants-Cowboys game in Dallas in September in a trip that may have been paid for by a rich New York City developer, the Post reported today. Jonathan Coren, who builds affordable housing developments, paid for Johnson’s plane tickets, hotel reservations and game tickets, the Post says. New York state law doesn’t permit elected officials to accept gifts from anyone “seeking to influence state or city government.”
While the governor’s office said that Johnson paid Coren back for the expenses, the Post casts doubt on these claims. After first responding that Johnson paid Coren back with a check for $1,085, the office was unable to produce a copy of the check. The governor’s office then changed its story, according to the Post, claiming Johnson paid Coren back in cash, but that it was unable to provide proof of the cash transaction.