Governor David Paterson has been fined $62,125 by the state’s ethics panel, which accused him of illegally soliciting free tickets to a Yankees World Series game for himself, his son, his sons’s friend and two aides, then lying about it in a cover up.
The Public Integrity Commission said Paterson violated the public officer’s law when he and top aides asked the Yankees for free tickets to a World Series game in the fall of 2009 for the governor, his son, his son’s friend and two assistants. The board says the free tickets were a clear conflict because the Yankees lobby before state government on a number of issues.
Paterson told the panel that he had intended to pay for the tickets, and he eventually did, but testimony by Yankees officials and members of the governor’s staff refuted that. The Commission, in a statement, chided Paterson for setting “a totally inappropriate tone by his dishonest and ethical conduct”.
Sue Lerner, with Common Cause, said it’s a “sad” ending to Paterson’s term in office.
“It just underscores the fact that the cover up is often worse than the original situation,” said Lerner.
Paterson still faces potential charges of perjury over his conflicting testimony. The case has been given to Albany DA David Soares.