Gov May Face Criminal Charges Over Yankee Tix Snafu

Investigator Drops Bomb; Paterson's Camp: He 'Did Not Lie'

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A special investigator said Thursday Gov. David Paterson gave misleading testimony about getting free tickets to a Yankees World Series game last fall.

And he could face criminal charges, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

Getting five free tickets to see the Bronx Bombers play in the World Series may prove to be a very costly mistake for the governor.

A special prosecutor working for Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Paterson issued “inaccurate and misleading” testimony on whether he was going to pay for the tickets, which each cost $425. The report details how before Game 1, Paterson’s office sent a letter to the Yankees saying he was “attending on official business” and “tickets would not be paid for.”

And the case is now being referred to the Albany district attorney.

The Paterson camp released a statement on Thursday night which said: “The Governor did not lie when he testified about the Yankee tickets, and the report does not recommend the bringing of criminal charges or conclude that the governor intended to give false or misleading testimony.  We are therefore hopeful that D.A. Soares will ultimately conclude that no criminal charges are warranted.”

A state trooper singing the national anthem at the state fair in Syracuse on Thursday could have been a flashback for Gov. Paterson. It was sung at Game 1 at Yankee Stadium. But that memory could now turn into a nightmare for the governor because state law prohibits freebies.

In the stinging report, independent counsel Judith Kaye said: “Evidence indicates that his decision to pay for the tickets for his son and his son’s friend was made following a press inquiry the day after the game.”

Read the full Kaye report here

Kaye added the governor also misled investigators about his claim that he brought a check to the game to pay for the tickets. CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey reports the investigation found “the check was not in Paterson’s handwriting” and had been backdated.

“It does look really bad and that’s where it does get Nixonian, where the cover-up feels much more significant than the crime, even though the crime is a clear violation,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of the watchdog group Common Cause New York.

Lerner said Paterson should have admitted he mistakenly violated the state’s public gift law, instead of “putting out various different stories? That’s where the problem comes from.”

For Paterson, the most damming finding was this: that “the evidence… warrants consideration of possible criminal charges by the district attorney.”

Ironically, Paterson contended he did nothing wrong.

“I feel that when the facts are displayed and the truth comes out I will be vindicated,” Paterson said earlier this year.

So now the governor has to sit on the edge of his seat waiting to see if the Albany DA brings criminal charges.

A spokesman for the DA said the case is under review.

A state ethics commission recommended last week that the governor be fined more than $90,000 in civil penalties.

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  • cleanupnynow

    David Paterson should go to JAIL or be IMPEACHED in regards to not only his disregard for the law, but also lying and misleading the Public Integrity Commission regarding his intentions not to pay for the tickets. This incident shows that Paterson has no ability or credibility to govern. In fact, “The Democratic Conference: Organizational and Operational Structure Report” is an eyewitness account of Paterson’s DYSFUNCTIONAL governing nature while Senate Minority Leader.

    Paterson’s office was criticized for PATRONAGE, LACK OF LEADERSHIP, INDECISIVENESS and INFIGHTING, set against a backdrop of general CHAOS – in other words the office was a ZOO. Those interviewed in the report indicated that its chief of staff the disorganized Michael Jones-Bey had no management skills, was neglectful in his duties – often boozing it up with staff and coming to the office with a hangover – and should be relieved of his position.

    Amazingly, for running such a DYSFUNCTIONAL CHAOTIC office, the disorganized Michael Jones-Bey was hand picked by David Paterson to mismanage the Division of Minority & Women Owned Business Development (MWBE) at Empire State Development Corporation.

    Now that’s the Paterson Way – being rewarded for your incompetence.

    New Yorkers do not deserve to be punished any further by David Paterson’s presence.

    David Paterson needs to RESIGN NOW – not tomorrow, not next week, not next month but, RESIGN NOW.

  • ExLibris


    How about this?

    Hold Waters accountable as appropriate.

    AND hold Rangel accountable as appropriate.

    AND hold Paterson accountable as appropriate.

    Hold ALL politicians accountable who try to cheat, lie, and cover-up illegal and/or unethical activities.

    Why is it a RELATIVE issue as regards whom is the important crook?

    Politicians have massive impact on our lives. Because of unending media exposure politicians are held as examples to our children.

    And we in turn are examples to our children when we do nothing but say, “Oh, it’s okay…the silly scamps…it’s JUST some tickets…it’s JUST the barter of a Senate seat…it’s JUST some minor investments…it’s JUST a few hundred thousand dollars…it’s JUST some little lies…it’s JUST some obstruction of justice…it’s JUST politics as usual….”

    When they start “small” and get away with it, they grow into “big” cheats, liars, and crooks.

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  • Bill

    Kinda obvious payback for not backing the Ground Zero mosque.

  • ghostsouls

    Are you kidding me???? Really??? Maxine Water’s filtered millions of our tax dollars, to prevent her husband (and herself) from losing $350 million they invested in a bank, Charlie Rangel, the one who writes tax code, handily for gets to report millions of dollars in income, and you want to sweat Patterson over some tickets??? WTH!!!!! This is being done because Patterson is actually trying to do something about the terrorist backed muslims putting a mosque right at the world trade center site.

  • Jon

    It’s not like he could’ve seen the game; he might not have known he was actually there.

  • James - Longdrycreek Ranch

    What skelatons does Cuomo have in his closet? Sptizer was a strict moralist until the call girls made a personal call,and he resigned.
    Governor Patterson has done well. What is the point of this witch hunt? Give Cuomo a high profile case, a sword on which t falll?

  • Larry W

    They should be afraid to take a stick of gum. Our ethics laws say you cannot take anything, ANYTHING that has a value of more tha $0. Until the politicians learn they are not there to take anything, but to serve the people for the value of their salary, nothing will change. All lobbyists need to be gone. Any politician that takes anything should be prosecuted. Restore honesty, integrity and honor.

  • Larry W

    Double standard much? I love all the libs defending his wrongdoing as no big deal. If this was Palin, you would be screaming for her head. Classics libs. Whats new? As long as your road of destruction is paved with good intention, no harm, no foul, right?

  • Steve

    He deserves jail time for this. That is what they did to the Republican Gov of CT for something similar. That was a witch hunt to bring down Gov Rowland. They had much morse stuff on DEMS in CT but the focus was only on Rowland so I say what is good for the goose

  • Todhunter

    Everyone in NY knows Paterson is dumber than a bag of hammers. Because he’s so stupid, he lied about the tickets. And sometimes people are held accountable for their stupidity.

  • Floyd DaBarber

    Gawd. How can Paterson even look himself in the face in the mirror in the morning?

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  • Scott

    Another corrupt Dem. What a surprise. I’m sure he’ll manage to buy his way out of it. Most New Yorkers are foolish enough to “overlook” anything he does with that D after his name.

  • FL Doc

    It is called, “Getting in on the arm”. Years ago it was common practice for officials to wave a badge or I.D. to get into events for free while the “common folks” paid. It is against the law for all uniformed services and all other civil servants to use their position to gain any kind of “favor”.

    You said, “Over a baseball game “. The value of the tickets was $2,125.00. Would you feel the same if some one put that much cash into his hand while trying to get the property next to your home rezoned to allow a 7/11 which would be open 25/7/365?

    • Joe Thomas

      To FL Doc; You hit the nail right on the head! A gift my tuckus.

  • susystin

    Look out Mr. Patterson – the regime is after you too. You didn’t comply the first time so they are trying harder.

  • TheBlindBat

    This is baloney.

    He never saw the game

  • Phocus

    Andrew Cuomo is a cancer on the state of New York and he farts in elevators. Patterson is just a guy. Come on New York, break loose and lost this guy.

  • Hazmat77

    This is a typical Cuoumo Witchhunt designed to make sure that Paterson Doesn’t run for office.

    The subject at issue is so inane it behooves the people of the state to rise up and throw Cuomo out of public office. He is a miserable political person, much like his father.

  • cottereaux

    Hey, the gov just went there on official business to “see” the game ….

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