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An independent counsel in New York has determined that David Paterson misled ethics investigators when he testified that he had intended to pay for free tickets to last year's World Series, but the report stops short of recommending that the governor be charged with perjury.
The New York Times reported Thursday that the independent counsel, Judith Kaye, said it was up to the district attorney in Albany to decide whether Paterson should be prosecuted.
The state's Commission on Public Integrity opened a probe earlier this year when it determined that Paterson only paid for tickets after the news media pushed the issue.
The governor obtained five tickets to the first game of the series between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies and attended with two aides, his son, Alex, and a friend of his son.
The commission concluded that Paterson, a Democrat, had never intended to pay for his own ticket and lied about it under oath. It referred the matter to state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who in turn appointed the independent counsel.
Kaye's findings largely back up the commission's report, the Times said.
"Evidence developed in the investigation indicates that, contrary to the governor's testimony, he had not formed an intent prior to the game that the tickets other than his own would be paid for," Kaye wrote. "Evidence indicates that his decision to pay for the tickets for his son and his son's friend was made following a press inquiry the day after the game. In addition, evidence indicates that, contrary to the governor's testimony, he did not partially prepare and bring a check for $850 to the game to pay for tickets for his son and his son's friend."
Neither the governor nor the Albany DA, P. David Soares, have commented on the findings.
Last month, in a related investigation, Kaye determined that Paterson's involvement in a top aide's domestic violence case reflected poor judgment but did not rise to the level of a criminal offense. Kaye wrote then that the governor engaged in "inappropriate conduct" in his contact with the alleged victim but his actions didn't amount to witness tampering or related criminal acts.
Read Thursday's Kaye Report here.
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