Report: Criminal charges should be considered for PatersonPosted: Updated:
(08/26/10) ALBANY (AP) - A special investigation has concluded thatGov. David Paterson's testimony about his plans to pay for WorldSeries tickets last year was "inaccurate and misleading" andwarrants consideration of criminal charges by a prosecutor.
In a report Thursday, former state Chief Judge Judith Kaye notedfour of five tickets to the World Series opening game between theNew York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies were paid forshortly afterward, following a press inquiry from the New York Postnewspaper. She said there's a question whether Paterson gave"intentionally false testimony" to the state Commission on PublicIntegrity about having written an $850 check in advance for twotickets.
Commission staff recommended last week that Paterson should befined more than $90,000 in civil penalties for soliciting andaccepting the tickets in violation of ethics law.
However, Kaye said the perjury issue was "clouded" by the wayPaterson's testimony was given, with the entries read aloud to thelegally blind governor. If Paterson had personally examined thecheck used to pay for two tickets, which was not in hishandwriting, that "would have been obvious to the governor," shesaid.
Paterson's private attorney, Theodore Wells Jr., said Patersondidn't lie when he testified. He noted Kaye's report does notrecommend bringing charges or conclude Paterson intended to givefalse testimony.
"We are therefore hopeful that (Albany County District AttorneyDavid) Soares will ultimately conclude that no criminal charges arewarranted," he said.
Paterson, a Democrat, has denied any wrongdoing. He eventuallypaid for two tickets, and staff members paid for two. He maintainsgoing to the game was part of a ceremonial public duty as governorthat entitled him to a ticket.