Kenneth Lovett, New York Daily News, March 3, 2010
If things weren’t bad enough for Gov. Paterson, he was hit with an ethics violation Wednesday for accepting free Yankees World Series tickets.
The state Public Integrity Commission [PIC] accused Paterson of violating the state gifts ban and misusing his official position to secure free World Series tickets–five of them.
Paterson is charged with violating two provisions of the state gift ban, which carries a maximum penalty of $80,000.
He is also accused of violating three sections of state ethics law, each of which carries a $10,000 maximum fine.
The PIC found “there is reasonable cause” to believe that Paterson falsely testified under oath that he always intended to pay for the World Series tickets for his son and son’s friend.
The PIC claims that Paterson had written a check for $850 to repay the Yankees, “when, in fact, the governor’s intention was to receive and accept the tickets for himself, his son, and his son’s friend without paying for them.”
It was only after a press inquiry that the governor submitted the backdated check as payment for the tickets.
And the check, though filled out and signed with the governor’s name, was not in Paterson’s handwriting, but likely Johnson’s, the commission found.