Monday, January 28, 2008

How Convenient: Demoted Figure in Spitzer Dirty Tricks Scandal Gets Mystery Promotion

We won't yet call this witness tampering, but it sure stinks to high heaven.

We will, however, call it business as usual with the ethically-challenged Spitzer administration.
TOP aides to Gov. Spitzer have secretly promoted a central figure in the Dirty Tricks Scandal who was demoted last summer after his involvement was revealed, The Post has learned.

The unannounced promotion of William Howard, Spitzer's former homeland-security advisor and liaison to the State Police, occurred this month, although Howard is expected to testify in connection with several scandal-related investigations.

The promotion, to acting chief of staff of the Homeland Security Office, was approved around the same time a top scandal investigator with ties to Spitzer was secretly granted a hefty pay raise after only a few months on the job.

"Howard's promotion is startling, because it looks like it is part of a pattern designed to influence the [scandal] investigation," said a Spitzer-administration source.

Howard was demoted from his $175,900-a-year post last July after Attorney General Andrew Cuomo confirmed The Post's disclosure that top Spitzer aides had used the State Police in a plot to damage Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, the governor's chief Republican opponent.

Howard's pay was cut to $155,000 a year, and he was transferred from the Governor's Office at the state Capitol to a secondary post at the Homeland Security Office.

He is expected to receive "a significant raise," a source added.

News of the promotion was all "the buzz" at a homeland-security forum held last week by the state's Business Council. His new title appeared on the list of speakers.

Howard could not be reached for comment.
Naturally. Though I'm sure he could easily be reached when Spitzer needs a favor.

With Democrats running the show in New York, expect them to simply try and milk the clock on this. If only some other media outlets outside of the New York Post would pay any attention (looking at you, NY Times), this might get somewhere.
His promotion comes just weeks after Herbert Teitelbaum, executive director of the Spitzer-controlled Public Integrity Commission, which is probing the scandal, was granted a $15,000-a-year raise and time to take a 21/2-week South American vacation after only a few months on the job.

Last October, Darren Dopp, a key scandal figure suspended in the wake of the Cuomo report, was hired at increased pay and, according to sources, with Spitzer's approval, by lobbyist Patricia Lynch.

A few weeks later, Teitelbaum's commission said Dopp, the governor's former communications director, may have committed perjury when he released what Spitzer claimed was a sworn statement about the scandal.
It must be great to have that D after your name.

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