NY Governor's Top Aide Quits Over Tax Row

Deputy blames his $300K in unpaid taxes on 'late-filing syndrome'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2008 2:48 AM CDT
New York Gov. David Paterson, right, and Charles O'Byrne, chief of staff, are seen in Albany, N.Y. on July 15, 2008.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll, file)
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(Newser) – The chief aide to New York's governor has resigned after it was revealed that he failed to pay taxes for 5 years, the New York Times reports. David Paterson’s top deputy, Charles O'Byrne, built up a $300,000 backlog of taxes from 2001. He was suffering from depression at the time and blames the non-payment on "late-filing" syndrome.

O'Byrne, an ex-priest, was the governor's right-hand man, playing a central role in almost all of the administration's decision-making. He had a reputation in the state capital for being capable but sometimes aggressive. Paterson initially stood by O'Byrne after news of the non-payment broke, but the scandal seemed likely to start overshadowing the governor's efforts to balance the state budget.