Gov. Paterson’s Aide Surrenders On Assault Charge
NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — There was an arraignment Thursday in the case that helped de-rail Gov. David Paterson’s election hopes.
A former aide to the governor was arrested and fingerprinted in the Bronx.
CBS 2’s Lou Young was in court as David Johnson faced a judge.
The 6-foot-6 former gubernatorial aide seemed almost annoyed at having to be in a Bronx court on Thursday. Johnson has come a long way from his close proximity to Gov. Paterson to the indignity of handcuffs and a charge of misdemeanor assault.
It’s been an uncomfortable fall.
“Who wants to get arrested? I mean, he’s been arrested. He surrendered. Regardless of whether the allegations are warranted or not it’s embarrassing to him and to his family,” attorney Oscar Michelen said.
The charges involve the alleged Halloween attack on Johnson’s former live-in girlfriend, Sherunna Booker, who claims he yanked her off the ground by the neck because he didn’t like her holiday costume.
The intense public interest in the case comes from the suggestion that Johnson used his high-level influence to apply pressure on Ms. Booker. She got calls from the head of the governor’s state police detail and one from Paterson, himself. Back in March the governor said he was simply trying to help a friend.
“There are number of people who have done that, but I’m just that in our democracy it is easy to make these kinds of statements. But many of the people who are accused are vindicated, and what do you say to them then?” Paterson said.
An investigation commissioned by the attorney general has cleared Paterson of wrongdoing, but recommended charging Johnson for the original assault, which is what happened Thursday much to the defendant’s horror.
“He just feels that this was addressed and he thought this was behind him,” Michelen said.
Johnson is pretty adamant that he won’t be discussing this in public with anyone any time soon. His lawyer told CBS 2 he expects to get a job in the public sector when all this settles down.
He’s due back in court here on Oct. 14.