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February 24, 2010

Did NY Governor Sic State Police On Woman Who Accused His Aide Of Domestic Violence?

NY's accidental Governor continues to prove he has no business holding the position.

Seems David Paterson and a member of his state police detail took a very personal interest in the woman who was trying to get an order of protection from David Johnson, one of Paterson's top aides.

Last fall, a woman went to court in the Bronx to testify that she had been violently assaulted by a top aide to Gov. David A. Paterson, and to seek a protective order against the man.

In the ensuing months, she returned to court twice to press her case, complaining that the State Police had been harassing her to drop it. The State Police, which had no jurisdiction in the matter, confirmed that the woman was visited by a member of the governor’s personal security detail.

Then, just before she was due to return to court to seek a final protective order, the woman got a phone call from the governor, according to her lawyer. She failed to appear for her next hearing on Feb. 8, and as a result her case was dismissed.

According to the story the woman was rather adament about persuing the order of protection until Paterson's call and the "counseling" of the State Police.

The head of the state police actually claims this a service they often offer people in cases they have nothing to do with. No word on whether he managed to keep a straight face while saying this.

The State Police superintendent, Harry J. Corbitt, said he was told of the episode within 24 hours after it occurred. He confirmed that a state police officer had met with the woman, even though the episode occurred in the jurisdiction of the New York Police Department. He said the visit was made only to tell the woman of her options, including seeking counseling.

“We never pressured her, at least what I was advised; we never pressured her not to press charges,” said Mr. Corbitt, whom the governor appointed. “We just gave her options.”

He said that such an inquiry was customary for the department if an episode involved a high-profile person, and that it was done in the 24 hours afterward.

“It’s typical if it involves anything that might involve a media event; it doesn’t have to be a senior official to the governor,” Mr. Corbitt said. “It could be a politician or a high-profile physician, anything that might pique interest in the press, because it’s a special circumstance.”

And if you believe that, Superintendent Corbitt has a bridge in Brooklyn he'd like to sell you. Personally, I'd like to see records documenting what Corbitt seems to claim is a fairly routine actioin. Not all of them, say 5. No 3 will do, actually how about one other case where this happened.

Keep in mind the NY State Police has a bit of a history of serving as something of a Praetorian Guard for NY Governors.

To add to the circus atmosphere, Paterson has asked the state Attorney General to investigate the matter including his own involvement. Here's the fun thing...the Attorney General is Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo has all but officially said he's going to challenge Paterson in a primary this year.

But wait, there's more! Should this get as far as Paterson having to leave office and I don't think it's a stretch to imagine it might (anyone really think a state trooper took this 'counseling' mission on his or her own initiative?), the Lieutenant Governor of NY is a guy named Richard Ravitch. Ravitch was named to the post during the summer power struggle in the state Senate. Paterson was the only person who thought he had the ability to name a new Lieutenant Governor and it took some willful blindness by the state's high court to agree.

New York could wind up having a governor who was appointed to the position in a dubious way by a governor who only got the job because Eliot Spitzer wanted to keep his socks on.

Welcome To New York: America's Banana Republic On The Hudson...Making Louisiana Look Good Since 2008

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posted by DrewM. at 10:33 PM

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