David Paterson is facing yet another scandal, this one both politically and financially expensive.
And I’m sorry. I was wrong. Late last night I wrote, “I’m pretty sure it can’t get any worse than this…”
Evidently, it can. Just moments after Governor David Paterson finished a meeting of his cabinet, at which he reassured them (assuming it was reassuring and not disappointing) that he was not going to resign, despite the scandals swirling past them, the New York State Commission on Public Integrity accused him of accepting free World Series baseball tickets from the New York Yankees — a registered lobbyist. The Governor ultimately, belatedly had paid for them — with a back-dated check. The tickets had a face value of $1700.
Paterson is now subject to fines and penalties of up to $90,000, according to the New York Times.
“State law forbids officials in the executive branch from soliciting or accepting gifts of more than nominal value from any lobbyist if the gift appears intended to sway the official. The Yankees are registered to lobby the Paterson administration, as well as the State Legislature, in connection with financing for their stadium.
“The commission charged Mr. Paterson with violating two provisions of the Public Officers Law, each of which carries a maximum penalty of $40,000. The commission also charged Mr. Paterson with violating three sections of the State Code of Ethics, including one that prohibits the governor from using his official position to secure unwarranted privileges. It carries a civil penalty of $10,000.”
In an unrelated editorial, The Times also called for Governor Paterson to resign.
Paterson has shown incredibly poor judgment, literally from the moment he took office. For some strange reason, the Times piece says New Yorkers are “forgiving” and do not know Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch well enough to have an opinion of him.
New Yorkers, and Governor Paterson: time to get a clue.
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