March 18th, 2010
02:26 PM ET
13 years ago

Paterson: I was the NYT source

[cnn-photo-caption image= 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.

Filed under: David Paterson • New York • Popular Posts
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Most Republicans - Wrong about everything, Wrong for America (and GW Bush was the worst President ever)

    A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
    And no one can talk to a horse of course
    That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.

    March 18, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Stonebald

    Hey Ed... you forgot Spitzer. He was the first in the most recent trend of Dems in, hmmm... lets just say "trouble" here in the Empire State. Bah, they all are crooked to some degree, politicians that is, but Patterson... not so much.

    March 18, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Neaderthal Republicans

    I like this.

    I'm sure that a bunch of Patterson haters (Limbaugh, etc.) have been mouthing off about how the Governor must have been guilty of something and pointing to these news stories as the PROOF.

    Now watch these SOBs have to tap dance around this little fact ... the Governor himself contacted the media. Oops. Would certainly appear that Mr. Patterson is more in control of this diatribe than his enemies hope for.

    March 18, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. bigbyrd

    Should congress come clean and reveal the health care plan that they receive paid for by the American public along with all staff and governmental workers now and if this horrible bill is pushed through over the objections of most Americans.

    March 18, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. OCF NYer

    anyone that both dems and repubs hate so much can't be all that bad

    March 18, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. Are You Still Here?

    He is just too funny... Somebody muzzle this guy before he confesses to kidnapping the Limburgh baby..Geez.

    March 18, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. Kathy

    Ed, Pleeez! NY, eh? Let's talk about South Carolina, eh? The whole lot of NY politicians will have to go a whole lot further to catch up with 'soul mate' Sanford. Illinois? Did everyone watch Celebrity apprentice. I'm a dem and no fan of Patterson, but really get annoyed at people who bash NY. There are good and bad people in every state and in each party.

    March 18, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. Jack Fl

    Ahhhhh the politics game

    March 18, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    My fellow New Yorkers, we the voters have to make a vote for change this fall.
    How many decades of dysfunction can the people of NYS be victims of? Both the assembly and the NYS Senate requires a full house cleaning this fall no matter what party they belong to.
    We the Voters need to tell all incumbents "You are Fired"!

    March 18, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. What the ...

    Excuse me, but what does Alabama or South Carolina have to do with this particular mess? Claim your own state's dysfunction and leave us out of this.

    So all the "please put me out of my misery" talk on Larry King was just blarney? Can't wait to hear what The New York Times has to say.

    March 18, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Ken in NC

    I joked here a few weeks ago that the Gov. was his own worst enemy and now it appears my joke was spot on.

    March 18, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. Windre

    This guy is a dimwit.

    March 18, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. mike NY

    To "concerned on the OR coast" – Governor Paterson is not an "elected official" he was handed this job through the resignation of the equally corrupt ex-Governor Spitzer. Like the Federal Vice-President the NYS Lt. Governor is hand-picked by the candidates for Governor and are not therefore indendantly elected. There was no election, special or no when Governor Spitzer resigned.

    March 18, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. mike NY

    To "Leave him alone" – this is the man that told ALL New York State employees that they could not even accept a pen from a salesman, then took FREE WORLD SERIES TICKETS to games he can't even see!!!!!!!!!! He has violated his own ethics rules time and again.

    March 18, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. Washington Post

    In other news, the Last Will and Testament of former President Richard M. Nixon reveals that he was "Deepthroat," the confidential source to the Washington Post that brought down the Nixon Administration.

    Also, in Massachusetts, the Kennedy Family reveals that former President John F. Kennedy actually assassinated himself.

    March 18, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. No Incumbents 2010

    His "defense" is that he ratted on himself? Governor Dumb. Next he will go on Glenn Beck like Massa and confess more sins we didn't know about. And he was planning on running for re-election? Gimme a break! The 20% of people who support him must be blind to his idiocy.

    March 18, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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