Members of the New York government’s executive branch are barred from accepting gifts from lobbyists that could sway them, which is exactly what the state’s Commission on Public Integrity says embattled Gov. David Paterson did when he secured free World Series tickets from the Yankees for his son. Omnipresent aide David Johnson, at the center of Paterson’s other troubles, was also in attendance. The charges carry a fine of $90,000, and the panel referred the matter to AG Andrew Cuomo for more investigation.
In addition, the commission found, Paterson lied about his intention to pay for the tickets, which he eventually did—with a backdated check. Entering a rare full meeting of his Cabinet in Albany before the CPI announcement, the governor sounded an almost ridiculously hopeful note about the future of his administration. “This isn’t an end, this is a beginning,” he told the New York Times. “There’s a lot of things that we can still accomplish for the people of the state of New York.”