Rage at Gov’s Force of a Different Color

Fredric U. Dicker, New York Post, October 20, 2008

MEMBERS of Gov. Paterson’s State Police security detail are privately claiming to have been victims of racial discrimination by New York’s first black chief executive, The Post has learned.

The allegations, outlined to State Police union leaders and widely discussed among the troopers themselves, stem from a shakeup in their ranks ordered after Paterson took office in March. The shakeup led to the assignment of a large number of new, non-uniformed State Police officers to Paterson’s security detail, nearly all of whom are black, State Police sources said.

State Police insiders contended that Clemmie Harris, a former trooper and longtime friend and paid adviser to the governor, has repeatedly told State Police Superintendent Harry Corbett who should be assigned to the governor’s security detail.

Both Harris, who retired on an unexplained full medical disability from the State Police 10 years ago and collects an $82,400-a-year annual salary, and Corbett, named to his post by Paterson, are black.

“There’s now a feeling that you have to be black to get ahead on the governor’s squad,” a longtime State Police official told The Post.

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Just 8 percent of State Police officers are black, according to official figures.

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