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February 25, 2010

Begining Of The End For NY Governor Paterson

Late last night I blogged about the NY Times story charging that Paterson and the NY State Police contacted a woman who was seeking an order of protection from a top Paterson aid. Shortly after being "counseled" by the troopers (who had no jurisdiction in the case) she dropped her efforts, despite being adament in pursuing the case prior to that.

Now Paterson's top public safety aide, Denise O'Donnell, has resigned in protest over the matter.

The fact that the Governor and members of the State Police have acknowledged direct contact with a woman who had filed for an order of protection against a senior member of the Governor’s staff is a very serious matter. These actions are unacceptable regardless of their intent.

It is particularly distressing that this could happen in an Administration that prides itself on its record of combating domestic violence. The behavior alleged here is the antithesis of what many of us have spent our entire careers working to build – a legal system that protects victims of domestic violence and brings offenders to justice.

In early January, following a breakfast meeting on another subject, State PoliceSuperintendent Harry Corbitt informed me that a senior Administration staff member had been involved in an incident months earlier where a Domestic Incident Report was filed. Superintendent Corbitt told me the staff member had an argument with his girlfriend, that a Domestic Incident Report had been filed, but that there was no arrest and that the matter was being handled as a local police matter by the New York Police Department.

My immediate concern was what role the State Police would take in the investigation and I was assured by Superintendent Corbitt that the State Police were not involved. It was only last night when I learned from press reports the contrary details, including the involvement of the State Police.

For these reasons, I am resigning my position as Commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services and Deputy Secretary of Public Safety effective today.

Paterson, who has asked Attorney General and his opponent for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination Andrew Cuomo to investigate. Save the time and money, Paterson is done.

Who is next in line? From my post last night.

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

So, that's awesome.


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posted by DrewM. at 02:49 PM

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