New York Gov. David Paterson fined $62,125 for baseball tickets
New York Gov. David Paterson’s time in office has been checkered by scandal and embarrassment. Fred Armisen’s spoof of the legally blind politician on “Saturday Night Live” has stuck to New York’s governor like a scarlet letter, similar to what Tina Fey did for Sarah Palin. Talk of Paterson’s drug use and infidelity have been mined as comedic fodder, and the New York State Commission on Public Integrity reports that David Paterson’s sense of ethics now has him in trouble again. He has been fined $62,125 for accepting five complimentary tickets to Game One of the 2009 World Series, tickets that would have cost $2,125.
David Paterson loves his Yankees
According to the New York commission, Gov. David Paterson, two aides, Paterson’s teenage son and his son’s friend attended the game at Yankee Stadium between the Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies. Clearly, Paterson didn’t spare a thought for how this would be perceived as a great political impropriety and abuse of power. Paterson reportedly claimed that he had “always intended to pay for the tickets,” but this testimony was refuted by Paterson’s staff, the New York Yankees baseball club, an independent handwriting expert and additional evidence that proves that David Paterson did not even perform a ceremonial function at the game.
Even if Gov. Paterson had presented himself at the game in his official capacity, he would not have been entitled to free tickets. According to the Commission, “the Governor’s false testimony is … evidence that he knew his conduct was unlawful.” A variety of New York State laws were violated in the Commission’s estimation.
Gov. Paterson’s fines in detail
The New York State Commission on Public Integrity levied a $62,125 fine on embattled Gov. David Paterson. That’s $2,125 for the tickets, $25,000 for violating Public Officers Law §73(5)(a), $25,000 for “violating Public Officers Law §73(5)(b) and $10,000 for violating “Public Officers Law §74(3)(d). The Commission had considered fines under additional statutes, but no others could legally be applied.
Stepping over the line (Note: Video contains adult references)