Overnight Open Thread | Main | Top Headline Comments 3-2-10
March 01, 2010

NY Times: NY Governor Paterson Personally Instructed State Employees To Contact Woman In Domestic Abuse Case

Pretty despicable if true.

According to one person who was briefed on the matter, the governor instructed his press secretary, Marissa Shorenstein, to ask the woman to publicly describe the episode as nonviolent, contradicting her accounts to the police and in court.

Mr. Paterson also enlisted another state employee, Deneane Brown, a mutual friend of the governor and the accuser, to make contact with the woman before she was due in court to finalize an order of protection against the aide. Ms. Brown, an employee of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, reached out to the woman on more than one occasion over a period of several days, and arranged a phone call between the governor and the woman.

After the calls from Ms. Brown and the conversation with the governor, the woman failed to appear for the court hearing on Feb. 8, and the case was dropped.

These accounts provide the first evidence that Mr. Paterson helped direct an effort to influence the accuser.

The woman involved was adamant about perusing the order of protection until Paterson and his aides, including the State Police, spoke to her. Imagine if Paterson buddy had decided he was going to be Mr. Tough Guy again and she was severely injured or worse.

Paterson claims he's going to finish out the term which runs through the end of the year but given the arc of this story, that's becoming increasingly unlikely. With this escalation of his alleged involvement it seems his resignation is simply a question of when, not if. The new unanswered question is, will he face criminal charges?

Paterson is a sad joke and who simply has no political capital left at a time when the state is in dire financial straights.

The besieged Paterson will also have to deal with the MTA's eroding budget, a politically charged roads and bridges plan for the suburbs and upstate, and the need to pass a controversial law to make it easier to build power plants in New York.

Frankly, it's taken for granted at the Capitol that the odds are better than even that Paterson won't even be governor by the beginning of May.

But if and until he goes, the politically crippled governor is going to have to sit down with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate leader John Sampson, two fellow Democrats who loathe him, and show an ability to work with the leaders that he's never been able to show before.

New York is likely to wind up with Richard Ravich as Governor. He was appointed by Paterson in a move that many consider of dubious constitutionality. Quite frankly though, he's much better suited in terms of temperament and experience to deal serve as a caretaker for the rest of the year.

In other NY news, Harold Ford, Jr. finds out his no Hillary and won't run against Kirsten Gillibrand in the Democratic primary for Senate. Too bad the GOP can't find someone to run given that Gillibrand is Paterson's hand picked Senator.

Where are you George Elmer Pataki? A state turns its lonely eyes to you!

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posted by DrewM. at 10:57 PM

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