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Embattled Paterson Faces Ethics Charges Over Yankees Tickets

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The New York State Commission on Public Integrity is charging Gov. David Paterson with violating the state's ethics laws for accepting free tickets to the first game of the 2009 World Series from the Yankees.

The commission is asking Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and the Albany County District Attorney to investigate further. The commission says there's reasonable cause to believe the governor solicited, received, and accepted an unlawful gift -- and that he falsely testified under oath that he intended to pay for the tickets.

Paterson could face an $80,000 penalty for violating the state gift ban, and another $10,000 penalty for using his position to secure unwarranted privileges.

Paterson did reimburse the team for the tickets later.

Earlier in the day, Paterson's chief of staff said the governor will continue his term and is determined to fix New York's fiscal problems.

A Paterson spokesman says the governor maintains his innocence and will challenge the findings.

Today, the governor has a series of meetings on the budget with his Cabinet, legislative leaders, and his staff. The governor is facing calls for his resignation since reports of his intervention in a domestic violence case involving an aide.

Regarding those reports, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says, "I think he should address the allegations and he should do that soon."

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