Gov. David A. Paterson misled investigators for the state ethics commission when he testified that he had intended to pay for free tickets he obtained to last year’s World Series, according to a report issued on Thursday by an independent counsel investigating the matter.
But the independent counsel, Judith Kaye, said it was up to the local district attorney in Albany, P. David Soares, to decide whether Mr. Paterson should be prosecuted for perjury.
Aides to Mr. Paterson obtained five tickets to the first game of the 2009 World Series, which Mr. Paterson attended along with two aides, his son, Alex, and a friend of his son.
The tickets eventually came under the scrutiny of the state Commission on Public Integrity, which found that Mr. Paterson had never intended to pay for his own ticket and only paid for his son and son’s friend after media inquiries on the matter.
The commission also concluded that Mr. Paterson had lied during his testimony about the tickets, a matter the commission referred last spring to Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, who in turn asked Ms. Kaye to investigate.
“Evidence developed in the investigation indicates that, contrary to the Governor’s testimony, he had not formed an intent prior to the game that the tickets other than his own would be paid for,” Ms. Kaye found.
“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. In addition, evidence indicates that, contrary to the Governor’s testimony, he did not partially prepare and bring a check for $850 to the game to pay for tickets for his son and his son’s friend.”
At a minimum, portions of Mr. Paterson’s testimony “were inaccurate and misleading,” the report concluded, and “warrants consideration of possible criminal charges by the District Attorney, who will make the ultimate decision regarding whether or not charges should be brought.”
Nothing will happen to him, of course.
Cuomo has already decided to stay as far away from Paterson scandals as possible in order to keep the way to his election to the governor's mansion clear.
And Paterson is beyond shame.
He "persuaded" a woman beaten by his chief aide to not follow through on criminal charges.
The same investigator looking into the ticket matter said Paterson was guilty of an "error in judgment" in the domestic abuse case, though she did not recommend criminal charges be filed against the governor.
Paterson himself thinks he did nothing wrong in either case.
As Arlo Guthrie noted so many years ago, this is just another case of American blind justice.
Politicians can scheme and steal and get away with it.
So can hedge fund managers and CEO"s and Wall Streeters.
Ah, but the rest of us, we need to be held "accountable," as Arne Duncan said this week.