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Commission Hears Paterson’s Yankee Tix Case

New York Gov. David Paterson

Gov. David Paterson (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2/AP) — A lawyer for the State Public Integrity Commission says Gov. David Paterson violated ethics laws by soliciting five World Series tickets last year from the New York Yankees, a registered lobbyist.

Bridget Holohan, the commission’s associate counsel, says at a hearing Tuesday that testimony from Yankees officials and former Paterson staff will show the governor never intended to pay for the tickets — worth more than $2,000 — before a press report on the arrangement.

Paterson did not attend the hearing. Theodore Wells, his lawyer, requested an adjournment until a related attorney general’s office probe is complete.

The request was denied and the hearing is continuing.

The Public Officers Law prohibits officials from soliciting or receiving gifts with more than a nominal value. The violation carries a penalty of up to $90,000.

Paterson denies doing anything wrong when he had staff request tickets to the first game of the 2009 World Series for him, two aides, his son and his son’s friend. Peter Kiernan, counsel to the governor, wrote that the Yankees were quickly reimbursed for four tickets, as intended. He has said the governor was entitled to a ticket for his ceremonial appearance at the new stadium, part of his role in promoting the state. 

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)