Close this search box.

WCBSTV: Paterson Investigated Over Free World Series Tix

paw.jpgGov. David Paterson is under fire again after the state’s ethics watchdog is investigating the governor over free tickets he got for the World Series.

Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg paid for his own tickets and so did other elected officials in New York. In fact, in a state filled with office holders known to have their hands out, the only politician who called the New York Yankees for free tickets to the first game of the Fall Classic was Paterson.

“That’s embarrassing. The governor and his people should know better,” said Susan Lerner of Common Cause. “It appears to be a pretty clear violation of state law, which prohibits elected officials from accepting gifts that have anything more than nominal value.”

It could prove an embarrassing mistake for the governor because now the state’s top ethics watchdog, the Commission on Public Integrity, is probing the matter. The Yankees are registered lobbyists and state law prohibits taking anything more than a cup of coffee from a lobbyist.

The ticket cost $425 each and Paterson got five of them.

“It’s amazing to me how elected officials, particularly elected officials who have been at the job for a substantial period of time lose their sensitivity to where the line is,” said Lerner. “It is such a clear violation of state law.”

The governor’s story about getting the free tickets has apparently changed several times. First, his aides said that Yankees President Randy Levine offered him free tickets, then that Chief Operating Officer Lon Torst did.

Neither story was true.

The latest version is that Paterson got the freebies after his counsel sent a letter to the Yankees claiming he would be at the game “on official business.”

Now even that has changed. With the commission now probing the matter, the governor now said he will pay for the two tickets used by his son and a friend, and that two aides who came along will pay for their tickets. He still claims he was on official business, and he makes it seem like he’s asked for the probe, which sources tell CBS 2 is not the case.

“I want to ask the state ethics commission what the proper ruling in this area is and will abide by it,” he said.

The issue for the Commission on Public Integrity may center on what constitutes “official business.” CBS 2 asked the governor’s aides if he participated in any ceremonies at the game, and the answer was no. His appearance was apparently under the TV radar too as it seems his seats were too far back.

The tickets could turn out to be the most expensive World Series tickets in history. If found guilty, the governor could be fined $40,000.

(Source: WCBSTV)

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Popular Posts