Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Former Chief Judge Judith Kaye Finds Gov. Paterson Not Guilty of Breaking The Law

Basil Paterson

Of course our Governor cannot be charged with obstruction of justice, witness tampering, or anything like that... he is above the law, immune to prosecution, accountable for his actions only to dad, the Hon. Basil Paterson (David's brother Daniel works at the Office of Court Administration).

AG Report: Paterson Showed Bad Judgment, Did Not Break Law
By JONATHAN DIENST, Wed, Jul 28, 2010

Gov. David Paterson showed bad judgment but did not break the law when he contacted an alleged domestic violence victim, sources tell NBCNewYork, according to a new report released today by the Attorney General's office.

The report by special counsel Judith Kaye details the events surrounding the alleged abuse of Sherr-una Booker by Paterson's close aide, David Johnson. See a timeline of the events.

Read the report here.

The report suggests that the Bronx District attorney should move forward with a criminal investigation of David Johnson for the alleged domestic violence incident.

"The evidence reviewed warrants consideration of possible charges against David Johnson relating to the Oct. 31 incident," Judge Kaye writes in the report. But, she adds, no other criminal charges should be filed in the case.

It was last Halloween night when Johnson allegedly beat and choked Booker. Questions have swirled if Gov. Paterson Johnson and state police officials engaged in actions to try to silence her. Johnson denies any wrongdoing. The Governor admits calling Booker but has denied it was an attempt to intimidate her.

According to the report out today, Booker called 9-1-1 three times after the alleged assault. In the third call, she told the 9-1-1 operator that she was scared and feared Johnson might return to "finish the job." The NYPD patrol car was delayed in responding because it had to cover a car accident and a landlord-tenant dispute at the same time.

When officers arrived, they said the did not see any injuries, classified the incident as a 'harassment' violation and advised Booker to pursue the matter in family court. The NYPD report later erroneously stated Booker's complaint had been "unfounded" after a wrong code for the complaint was entered into the computer. Booker then went to Lincoln Hospital for treatment and to meet with a social worker on how to handle a domestic violence incident.

The report states that after Booker called 9-1-1 to report the alleged assault to the NYPD, Johnson called NY State Police Major Charles Day, of the Governor's security detail, to alert him of her allegations.

Day told investigators he received permission from First Superintendent Pedro Perez to call Booker to assess if an assault had occurred and whether Booker needed help. Perez also claimed he wanted to assess if Booker was a 'threat' to the Governor in that Booker might seek to "retaliate" against Johnson when he was with the Governor.

When Major Day called Booker, she said she was not all right and was very upset, according to the report.. Booker claims Major Day then urged her not to file charges against Johnson and instead leave it to the state police to handle internally. "Booker testified that, because she believed Day worked for Johnson, she suspected that Day was attempting to interfere with her efforts to obtain assistance from the NYPD," the report said.

Superintendent Perez did call the head of the State Police Henry Corbitt who later testified that he said Booker should be treated as a crime victim and that Day should reach out to her and "explain her options."

On January 7, Corbitt advised Deputy Secretary of Public Safety Denise O'Donnell about the incident, calling it an "argument" that resulted in a "domestic incident report," according to O'Donnell.

Booker, 41, came forward for the first time last week, saying that she wants to pursue criminal charges against Johnson. She met for several hours last week with domestic violence prosecutors at the Bronx District Attorney's office. Bronx DA Robert Johnson said he is investigating her claims, but hadn't yet decided whether to file criminal charges, according to his spokesman.

Booker, a single mother of two sons, said that she was inspired to go public with her claims due to other women who had suffered domestic violence, particularly a co-worker who stayed with a man who had broken her arm.

"She didn't speak out for years," said Booker. "And it kind of gave me the courage to come forth and speak for other women that maybe didn't feel that they would be heard, or weren't important enough to speak up. It's the right thing to do. I don't want any woman to go through what I went through."

The report said after Booker called 9-1-1 to report the alleged assault to the NYPD, Johnson called Major Charles Day of the Governor's security detail to alert him of her allegations. Day told investigators he received permission from First Superintendent Pedro Perez to call Booker to assess if an assault had occurred and whether Booker needed help. Perez also claimed he wanted to assess if Booker was a 'threat' to the Governor in that Booker might seek to 'retaliate' against Johnson when he was with the Governor.

When Major Day called Booker, she said she was not all right and was very upset. Booker claims Major Day then urged her not to file charges against Johnson and instead leave it to the state police to handle internally.

"Booker testified that, because she believed Day worked for Johnson, she suspected that Day was attempting to interfere with her efforts to obtain assistance from the NYPD," the report said.

Day denies Booker's claims.

After leaving the apartment and calling Major Day, Johnson also called friend Deneane Brown asking her to try to calm Booker down. He also called Governor aide Clemmie Harris who then called Brown to find out what was happening.

Harris said he first discussed the allegations Booker was making against Johnson with the Governor on November 2. That day, Booker went to family court to seek an order of protection stating she suffered bruises on her arms. She returned to court on Nov. 4 and followed the court's advise to have an order of protection sent via certified mail to Johnson.

According to the report, Booker says on November 3, Day tried to call her but a friend answered the phone: When he was told Booker planned to continue to move forward with the case, Day reportedly became "aggressive and rude." But Day denies asking about whether Booker planned to pursue the case.

Eventually, Booker told investigators she decided not to pursue the family court case because Johnson was no longer contacting her and she did not consider him a 'threat.' That according to the attorney general's report is why Booker did not follow-up at Family Court to pursue the matter.

But Booker told NBCNewYork last week that she stands by her claims that she was "harassed" by state police officials. She would not comment about the phone call the Governor made to her the day before her planned family court appearance to move ahead with the charges.

Paterson first learned of the domestic dispute on Nov. 1, when Johnson allegedly told him he had a "huge fight" with Booker. But the Governor said he was unaware there was any physical dimension to the dispute, the report said.

"I got the impression that this was a loud, emotional exchange, and that the police had been called," Paterson later told investigators.

But The New York Times broke the domestic-abuse story on February 17 and Paterson and Booker spoke by phone again that day for 40 minutes. Paterson told her the story was going to 'blow over.' She said she told Paterson she was upset because the incident was more than a 'bad break up' and she told him the details of the alleged assault.

Paterson apologized to her in that call, saying he was unaware of the details, the report said. But the Governor's office then put out a statement that "There is no independent evidence presented that would substantiate any claims of violence."

On February 24, with the Times set to run another story, Governor Paterson called Booker several times, at one point speaking for 20 minutes, according tot he report. Booker alleged she thought the NYPD was slow in responding to her 9-1-1 calls because she suspected the State Police had stepped in.

Later that night, the Governor called Booker and left her a message about the Times reporting. "You should see the way they wrote this story. They're trying to make it look like I pressured you into dropping this court case. Please help me," Paterson said. "Your lawyer, his statement, makes it sound the same way."

Paterson went on: "I hope, uh - you remember that I was not trying to make you do anything, and - I hope your lawyer will do something to help me here because this, uh, doesn't look good for me, and I wasn't in this."

In the final assessment, Judge Kaye's report found "no evidence" that Governor Paterson committed witness tampering, but he did "rely to heavily" on Johnson's story alone. Also, the report concluded that no one from the State Police interfered with the NYPD case, and Major Day did not attempt to induce Booker to stay away from court.

The report stated that Day may have violated State Police protocols in researching certain records, but he had a right to "make appropriate inquiries" with the NYPD to ensure that any arrest of Johnson would not cause any security issue with the governor.

Booker's attorney Ken Thompson declined comment as he waits to read the report with his client. Johnson's attorney Oscar Michelen also declined comment at this time. Ted Wells, the lawyer for Governor Paterson, is out of town and could not be reached.'

TIMELINE: A Tumultuous Turn In The Governor's Seat
A Timeline of David Paterson's Political Career

By KATIE HONAN, Updated 12:25 PM EDT, Fri, Mar 5, 2010

Gov. David Paterson announced the end of his week-long campaign for a full term, setting an end date on what has been an short but interesting tenure as Governor of New York.

His career in brief:

1985: David Paterson is elected to the Senate in the 29th District of New York--the same Manhattan district that his father, Basil, served as a Senator. He became the youngest State Senator in Albany, serving as senator until 2007.

November 20th, 2002: Paterson is elected by the Democratic caucus as the Minority Leader, becoming the first non-white state legislative leader and the highest-ranking black elected official in the history of New York State.

2006: New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer chooses David Paterson as his running mate for the Governor's office. Paterson trades the powerful Senate Majority Leader position--for which he was poised to take--for the Lt. Governor post, which is largely ceremonial.

November 2006: Eliot Spitzer defeats Republican John Faso in a landslide victory to become Governor of New York.

March 10th, 2008: The New York Times reports that Governor Eliot Spitzer was a patron of a high-end prostitution service called the Emperors Club VIP. "Client 9", as Spitzer was called in court papers, appeared briefly in front of reporters.

March 12th, 2008: Eliot Spitzer resigns as governor, effective five days later.

March 17th, 2008: Lt. Governor David Paterson is sworn in at the New York Capitol as the 55th Governor of New York. In his inauguration speech, he says: "Let me reintroduce myself. I am David Paterson and I am the Governor of New York State. ”

March 18th, 2008: In a joint press conference, Paterson and his wife Michelle both admit to extramarital affairs. The Governor admits to multiple liaisons with several women for several years starting in 1999, including a woman on the state payroll. Paterson also stated that he visited the Days Inn on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for trysts, and that he and his wife also visited the same hotel to try "new and exciting things" to save their marriage.

March 25th, 2008: Paterson tells former NY1 News anchor Dominic Carter that he tried cocaine "a couple of times" when he was in his early 20s. He also said he hasn't "touched marijuana since the late '70s."

December 1st, 2008: President-Elect Barack Obama announced he would nominate New York Sen. Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State, leaving a vacant seat in New York.

December 3rd, 2008: Reports state Governor Paterson had a conversation with Caroline Kennedy about the possibility of her taking Clinton's Senate seat. Critics would point out Kennedy's lack of experience in politics, and accused her of riding on her political last name.

"We talked about a number of things, and the seat did come up in the conversation," Paterson said, although he was unsure at the time if she was actually serious about the position.

This was the beginning of what Chris Smith of New York Magazine called "the defining circus of [Paterson's] rookie year in office."

January 12th, 2009: Paterson's selection process for the Senate seat is criticized as being too secretive, going against the Governor's promise to keep an open government.

Paterson refuses to release the list of "about 10" people he is considering for the job. He wont release the blank questionnaire he sent to each candidate for background information. His office says "the process is confidential."

January 21st, 2009: Caroline Kennedy abruptly withdraws from the Senate appointment with a phone call to Paterson. She cites "personal" reasons for her decision.

January 23rd, 2009: Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, who represents an upstate New York district, is appointed by Governor
Paterson as Hilary Clinton's successor in the Senate to replace Hillary Clinton as New York's junior Senator.

The selection process for Senate shined a light on what many felt was Paterson's indecisiveness and inefficiency. Many felt he had yet to establish himself as a leader in the Democratic party.

March 23, 2009: A Siena Poll finds Governor Paterson's approval rating at just 19%

June 8th, 2009: In one of the more bizarre days in New York political history, Republicans in the State Senate--in the minority by two votes--arrange for a coup in power. Two Democrats, Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada, Jr., defect to the Republican side and voted to replace the Majority Leader and Temporary President of the Senate. Governor Paterson tries to force the Senate into action by withholding the Senator's salary, but the Senate remains deadlocked.

July 8th, 2009: David Paterson appoints Richard Ravitch as Lieutenant Governor in an effort to break to the deadlock. He is sworn in at Peter Luger's Steakhouse in Brooklyn. Senate coup leader Pedro Espada Jr., tries to sue to prevent the appointment.

July 9th, 2009: Espada returns to the Democratic side, returning them to a 32-30 majority in the Senate.

July 21st, 2009: New York Supreme Court Justice William R. LaMarca issues a primary injunction to prevent Ravitch from
performing any duties of the office. On August 20th, the Appellate Division's Second Department unanimously rules that the appointment of Ravitch was unlawful because "no provision of the Constitution or of any statute provides for the filling of a vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor other than by election.

September 22, 2009: The New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York, rules that the Governor's selection is lawful and a governor may appoint a lieutenant governor in the event of a vacancy.

January 18th, 2010: A Page Six report from the New York Post reports the Governor was seen "nuzzling" and "cooing like a smitten schoolboy" with a woman who was not his wife inside a New Jersey steakhouse. Paterson says he and the woman are just friends.

January 30th, 2010: Another Post item says a state trooper accidental walked in on Paterson hugging another woman who wasn't his wife in a closet at the governor's mansion.

February 5th, 2010: Political reporters all around the city are put into a frenzy as rumors of a damaging New York Times article on the Governor is in the works, set to "Spitzerize" Paterson. Many say it will force the Governor to resign.

February 9th, 2010: Paterson responds to the Times story, saying the paper interview him but didn't ask any questions about the alleged scandal.

He writes a letter to the Times, admonishing them for failing to stop the speculation on the story. On Don Imus' radio show, Paterson says "For a person who has such weak poll numbers, that hasn't raised enough money and has diminishing political support, someone is going very far out of their way to see that I am not a candidate this year," the governor said, blaming the media and special interest groups for attacking his campaign.

"I'm black, I'm blind and I'm still alive... Now how much better do they want me to be?"

February 16th, 2010: The New York Times publishes their story, "Paterson Aide's Quick Rise Draws Scrutiny." Many criticize the paper for over-hyping a story, which profiles Paterson's driver, David Johnson, aka DJ, and his suspicious rise to power. They bring up his two cleared youth offender arrests. Gawker says: "Tell all your friends: Paterson's closest adviser is sort of a thug. The great phantom David Paterson scandal of 2010 ends with a whimper... maybe?"

February 20th, 2010: Paterson kicks off his campaign for Governor to a crowd of 400 at Hofstra University, his Alma mater.
"You need to know that this is a governor who does not quit," he says, selling himself as the underdog in the race. The next day he attends another campaign event in Rochester.

February 24th, 2010: Governor Paterson abruptly suspends David Johnson and asks Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate claims that State Police tried to "improperly influence" a woman Johnson allegedly attacked. His aides admit that Paterson was in contact with the woman, telling her he "was here for her." Although Paterson claimed the woman called him, sources came out and said Paterson was the first to make contact with the woman.

February 25th, 2010: Public Safety Deputy Denise O'Donnell resigns, citing the developing scandal in the administration.

That night, Paterson speaks to reporters as rumors float around of his possible resignation. He states that he will continue his campaign for Governor.

February 26th, 2010: Governor David Paterson announces he will be dropping out of the race, saying he can't run for governor and be governor at the same time.

"I believe that when the facts are reviewed, the truth will prevail," he says, adding, "There are 308 days left in my term. I will serve every one of them fighting for the people of New York."

March 3, 2010: New York State Police Superintendent Harry Corbitt resigns amid the media pressure of the scandal.

That same day, Paterson was charged by the New York State Commission on Public Integrity for violating ethics laws when obtaining five free Yankees tickets for Game 1 of the 2009 World Series and possibly lying about it under oath.

March 4, 2010: Director of Communications Peter Kauffmann resigns, stating: "As a former officer in the United States Navy, integrity and commitment to public service are values I take seriously. Unfortunately, as recent developments have come to light, I cannot in good conscience continue in my current position."
First Published: Feb 26, 2010 6:20 PM EDT


  1. Paterson was sworn in by Judy hey, hey Kaye...and he announced that she was the best Chief Judge NY state ever had.
    To have that old corrupt bag investigate Paterson was corruption and Newspapers across the State reported and acted liked it was a lawful and unbiased ex-judicial looksee at this loser Governor, we are forced to endure.
    Kaye will end up in jail...someday...for certain!

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