Thursday, August 26, 2010

Paterson Could Face Charges Over ... Yankees Tickets

He'll be out of office in four months, has been in over his head since assuming office from Client Number 9 and probably looks forwarding to getting away from the mess that is New York state government. And he could be prosecuted for going to a Yankees game and fibbing about it? On the outrageous outrage over government corruption scale this merits about a minus 5.
Gov. David A. Paterson misled investigators for the state ethics commission when he testified that he had intended to pay for free tickets he obtained to last year’s World Series, according to a report issued on Thursday by an independent counsel investigating the matter.

But the independent counsel, Judith S. Kaye, said it was up to the local district attorney in Albany, P. David Soares, to decide whether Mr. Paterson, a Democrat, should be prosecuted for perjury.

Aides to Mr. Paterson obtained five tickets to the first game of the 2009 World Series, which Mr. Paterson attended along with two aides, his son, Alex, and a friend of his son.

The tickets eventually came under the scrutiny of the state’s Commission on Public Integrity, which found that Mr. Paterson had never intended to pay for his own ticket and paid for his son and son’s friend only after the news media inquired about the matter.

The commission also concluded that Mr. Paterson had lied during his testimony about the tickets, a matter the commission referred last spring to Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, who in turn asked Ms. Kaye to investigate.

Ms. Kaye’s findings largely back up the commission’s own report.

“Evidence developed in the investigation indicates that, contrary to the governor’s testimony, he had not formed an intent prior to the game that the tickets other than his own would be paid for,” Ms. Kaye found.

“Evidence indicates that his decision to pay for the tickets for his son and his son’s friend was made following a press inquiry the day after the game. In addition, evidence indicates that, contrary to the governor’s testimony, he did not partially prepare and bring a check for $850 to the game to pay for tickets for his son and his son’s friend.”

At a minimum, portions of Mr. Paterson’s testimony “were inaccurate and misleading,” the report concluded, and “warrants consideration of possible criminal charges by the district attorney, who will make the ultimate decision regarding whether or not charges should be brought.”

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