Wednesday, March 17, 2010

NY Gov.'s press aide quits in scandal; 4th to fall

Gov. David Paterson's press secretary on Wednesday became the fourth top staffer to quit amid dual scandals, resigning just hours after her boss publicly proclaimed for the first time that he did nothing wrong when he talked to a woman who had accused one of his top aides of abuse.

Paterson also said Wednesday on a radio show that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, whom he appointed to the seat, threw him "under the bus" by suggesting he might have to resign over his role in the abuse allegations.

In a separate scandal that threatens his administration, Paterson's lawyer on Wednesday released a harsh critique of an ethics violation against him for accepting World Series tickets, and the state's former lobbying chief called the ticket investigation "an ethical lynching" of the state's first black governor.

Press secretary Marissa Shorenstein said she resigned after two years because she could no longer do her job because of the abuse scandal. The New York Times had reported that Shorenstein, at Paterson's instruction, called the accuser on the phone.

Shortly after the contact by Shorenstein and others, the woman dropped her complaint. A special counsel is investigating whether the administration, including Paterson and a trooper on his security detail, improperly contacted the woman.

"Due to the circumstances that have led to my unwitting involvement in recent news stories, I can no longer do my job effectively," Shorenstein said in a brief statement released through a private e-mail account. "Throughout my career I have performed my duties professionally and with integrity, basing my actions on what I believed to be true at the time."

No comments: