February 17th, 2010
03:19 PM ET
4 years ago

Paterson: Times report on aide lacks 'facts'

David Paterson lashed out Wednesday at a published report alleging a top aide's history of drug arrests and alleged domestic violence..
David Paterson lashed out Wednesday at a published report alleging a top aide's history of drug arrests and alleged domestic violence..

(CNN) - New York Gov. David Paterson lashed out Wednesday at a published report alleging a top aide's history of drug arrests and alleged domestic violence.

"The more recent allegations reported on by The [New York] Times would be extremely troubling if true - but the conclusions reached by the Times report are not supported by the facts," the Democratic governor said in a statement.

The New York Times article - published Wednesday with the headline "Paterson Aide's Quick Rise Draws Scrutiny" - examined the background of David Johnson, who started as an intern for Paterson when the governor was in the state Legislature and who is now a top aide.

The article by Danny Hakim and William K. Rashbaum said: "In recent months ... Mr. Johnson's ascent has been striking: he is now one of the most senior people in the governor's administration, paid $132,000. He is described as Mr. Paterson's closest confidant, a man with a designated room for his overnight stays in the Executive Mansion, and a broadening role in areas like campaign strategy, government initiatives and the management of the governor's staff."

The Times report found Johnson was "twice arrested on felony drug charges as a teenager, including a charge of selling cocaine to an undercover officer in Harlem."

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Paterson defended Johnson, saying the paper chose to "splash his youthful offenses across the pages of its newspaper - even though the courts of our state have ordered them to be sealed. ... I profoundly believe in this principle of redemption and giving young people a second chance."

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Filed under: David Paterson
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. No you didn't

    Poor David. Never saw it coming...

    February 17, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Even a blind man in politics cant be trusted to be faithful to his spouse so how can we trust him to be loyal to his public .

    February 17, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Sounds like your typical American political smear campaign to me.

    February 17, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. S Callahan

    Shame on the vermin that are putting these stories out.......what a jerk you are. Don't you realize that over half the children in NYS have had some type of 'drug/alcohol' issue in pre and teen years..which means you had their parents dealing with the issue of redemption of their child. So now here comes an article attacking a man who pulled his life in order after poor choices in his teen years. This is just too desperate. Let the chips fall where they may...but at least show some dignity and let Patterson win or lose on his own issues at the voting booth. Close the smear book and move on!

    February 17, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Jamal

    Yeah that sounds about right. That is who is taking our tax dollars and involved in making laws for all of us here in New York. Kind of makes you sick doesn't it. Just wait until they start investigating some of Obama's staff! That is going to be crazy!

    February 17, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Mike in NYC

    Some serious arrogance and presumptuousness on display here.

    It's hard to imagine a white politician having a former drug dealer as a top aide. It's also hard to imagine said white politician using the "youthful," "redemption" and "second chance" cards and expecting that to settle the matter.

    Double standards encourage this kind of entitlement mentality, so maybe Dave can't be faulted for thinking this way.

    February 17, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. Stallion

    Well what are the facts then? Is one of your top aides a multiple felon or not? Are the voters not entitled to know the truth?

    February 17, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. MsDp

    That's right Gov Patterson, keep hitting the lies back and keep standing every time a lie is told!!!!

    February 17, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. W l Jones

    Ah those go old teen age years. our local police smile on us and said go home to your mother.

    February 17, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Biased

    The NYT has shown that the levels of journalistic integrity today are so low to be classified as either nonexistent or scandalous.

    February 17, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Mickey

    Sure they do Davie boy...sure they do.

    Don't even bother running for governor again, you're just wasting money.

    February 17, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. Joe in NJ

    It's obvious the NY Times has some sort of personal vendetta against Paterson, probably because he doesn't support their agenda. This is all carefully planned on their part so that they can get that jerk Cuomo in the Governor's office. How come not much is being mentioned about the NY Times reporter who resigned this week after another incident of plagarism?

    February 17, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. wileysee

    Must be a slow news day for most of the media. They won't let this man's youthful offenses be laid to rest. The reporters must never have done anything in their collective and misdirected (otherwise they wouldn't be hounding Johnson) youth. The media, what a bunch of gossip merchants! They would probably sell their own mothers down the the river if it was sensational enough...lol.

    February 17, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. RobK

    It says arrested on felony drug charges. It does not say convicted. What is the truth?

    February 17, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. mjm

    After following politics in Chicago all these years.....this article sounds about right to me. Once Democrats get in office, they "hook people up" regardless of qualifications. That's why Chicago is in the shape it's in.

    If you want qualified people, vote Republican.

    February 17, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. Shibumi

    Looks like Chicago thug politics. Rahm's (and Bo Bo's) fingerprints all over this one.
    ONE AND DONE FOR THE STINKLE BARRY!

    February 17, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. huh?

    The Times comes in braille?

    February 17, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "It's hard to imagine a white politician having a former drug dealer as a top aide. It's also hard to imagine said white politician using the "youthful," "redemption" and "second chance" cards and expecting that to settle the matter.
    Double standards encourage this kind of entitlement mentality, so maybe Dave can't be faulted for thinking this way."

    Are you kidding? You can spew this kind of racist drivel after watching "white politicians" tap their feet in airport bathrooms, cheat on their wives, commit crimes like embezzlement or accepting bribes, and wear horrifyingly fake tans? I guarantee you that white congresspeople have white aides skulking about with histories of drug abuse...that some of them were probably avid fratboy cokeheads in the 80's themselves...and that they're not being targeted by major newspapers. Nobody's giving Paterson a free pass here. The GOPers are going to crap all over him and play to peoples' stereotypes of inner city minority youths and drug and gang behavior...and I can see you've already popped a viagra in anticipation of it. You're just sore because the reality is, there's a real chance Paterson's being targeted precisely because he and his aid are black.

    BTW, newsflash: Another reason you're full of it is because the entire goal of the contemporary "news" media (no matter which flavor of turd you're steaming...CNN, Faux, MSNBC, etc.) is to support the establishment, i.e., the old-guard career politician old-boy network. That is their A#1 goal on any given day. Nothing threatens advertising revenue like supporting elected officials that actually want to shake things up and put a leash on giant corporate America's abuse of the public. You think CNN wanted to lose all its insurance commercials by quickly exposing "death panels" for a blatant lie? No. The only option to keep all that ad revenue, instead of being boycotted by giant insurers willing to pay megabucks for tv air-time, is to avoid calling "death panels" the lie that it was. Instead, CNN and the rest pretended like "death panels" required an actual "educated" discussion, not 2 minutes to flip some pages in the proposed bill and point out the obvoius misinterpretation of the legialtive provision the liars were using to support the claim of "death panels"...then have a good pantwetting laugh at them. So ask youself...what would CNN gain by investigating and exposing old-guard old-boy-network white career politicians who are firmly entrenched with corporate interests that pay CNN all kinds of ad revenue...when doing so would likely anger them and potentially lose CNN an advertising client?

    February 17, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  19. JT from MO

    I think we should leave him alone; let him choose his own fate by his own decisions. We should be focusing on what really effects us in our daily lives; economy, financial/ tax reform, healthcare, energy independence, and most important of all, which would affect all of those; working together as one America instead of D vs R. For example, the issue that will effect us the most in coming generations; energy independence; we need to start thinking critically on what we need to start doing if we are to transition to a energy independent economy, which will affect all other economic/ policy issues in a way in the terms of now and in the future. There is more than one way we need to look at this; we need to look at this issue at a multiperspective point of view; scientific, domestically (world wise), economic, mythological (the real world sense), historically, legal, psychologically, politically, and in a moral/ personal sense. Energy independence is a complex, complicated issue that requires that type of thinking if it is ever to occur within the long term future; I will live for at least another 60 years, so what decisions we make, will influence what I and a lot of other people that are young when we grow up to inherit the Earth not too long from now. We need to get a head start on what will be a importunate decision that will determine our future as not only a country, but as a people united under one cause. Here is my idea of how we should approach energy independence:
    What then are attributes of a sustainable economy in the information age?
    1. Populations of humans and other organisms living in harmony with the natural support systems such as air, water, and land (including ecosystems).
    2. An energy policy that does not pollute the atmosphere, cause climatic damage such as climate change, or present unacceptable risk ( a political or social decision).
    3. A plan for renewalbe resources such as water, forests, grasslands, agricultural lands, and fisheries that will not deplete the resources or damage ecosystems.
    4. A plan for nonrenewable resources that does not damage the regional to global environment while ensuring a share of our nonrenewable resources is left to future generations.
    5. A social, legal, and political system that is dedicated to sustainability with a democratic mandate to produce such an economy.
    To achieve a sustainable United States economy, it is necessary that we:
    1. Develop an effective population control strategy.
    2. Completely restructure our energy programs; a sustainable US economy cannot run on fossil fuels for too much longer. Conservation of energy must have a central place in our energy management plans.
    3. Institute economic planning, including development of a tax structure that will encourage population control and wise use of resources.
    4. Implement social, legal, political and educational changes that provide for maitenance of a quality local, regional, and universal environment.
    "There's no limit to what a man can achieve, if he doesn't care who gets the credit." Laing Burns, Jr. That is why we must work together as one America and as one human race to combat the "seemingly" impossible; divided we fall, united we stand.

    February 17, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |