[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/18/art.paterson.0313.gi.jpg caption =" New York Gov. David Paterson said Thursday he was the source of information for the story that led to an ethics investigation and the departure of five top members of his administration."]New York (CNN) - New York Gov. David Paterson said he was the source of information for the story that led to an ethics investigation and the departure of five top members of his administration.
While appearing on WOR radio in New York this morning, Paterson told talk show host John Gambling that he was the person who informed the press that he interceded in an assault case involving his aide, David Johnson.
In an awkward exchange filled with moments of uncomfortable silence, Gambling said the situation "might not have come out if we didn't have the press write the story about this, right?" Paterson responded, "No, that's actually not true, that's actually not true."
After a few seconds of silence, Gambling asked, "Ummm, why?" Paterson said, "Uh, well, I don't want to go into it but the person who informed others that there was such a conversation was me." Sounding surprised, Gambling asked, "You informed the news?" The governor said, "Correct. That's all I'm going to say about it. And it's not my surmise. It's an actual fact. But the individual who first made it clear that there had been a conversation was myself."
Paterson was referring to a conversation that took place with Sherr-una Booker, the woman who filed for an order of protection against David Johnson alleging that he assaulted her on Halloween. Booker failed to appear in court when a judge was scheduled to hear the request.
Paterson would not give more details about the conversation citing the ongoing investigation.
This contradicts earlier remarks from Paterson that the story was based on un-sourced claims and information from unnamed sources.
Paterson's press secretary and acting communications director, Marissa Shorenstein, resigned on Wednesday. In a written statement, Shorenstein implied that she was misled about the case.
"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," she said in the statement. "I therefore tender my resignation as press secretary to the governor."
Paterson defended Shorenstein on WOR radio. "Marissa Shorenstein is someone I've known for a number of years, someone I consider a friend outside of government," Paterson said, "and the problem right now is that both of us are being questioned by an investigation and we're not supposed to talk to each other. So it's very hard to have a communications director when you can't communicate with them. And so we just thought that... she just thought that this would be the best way to address it for the time being and I support her completely. And everything she said was exactly accurate."
The New York Times reported that Shorenstein was asked to call Booker after she failed to appear in court and request that Booker describe the incident with Johnson as being non-violent.