Former Gov. David Paterson Tapped for MTA Board

Gov. Andrew Cuomo nominated Paterson for the unpaid post Monday

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    Governor David Paterson

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he has nominated former Gov. David Paterson to fill the MTA board position vacated when Paul McCartney's wife stepped down earlier this year.

    Paterson, who served as governor for three years after Eliot Spitzer resigned amid a prostitution scandal, was nominated to the unpaid post by Cuomo on Monday. His nomination must be confirmed by the state Senate.

    The former head of state told the Daily News he's excited about the opportunity. After his brief, often controversial stint in the governor's mansion, Paterson said doesn't mind "being a soldier for awhile," adding his reputation for taking tough stands on some key economic issues might be of help to the cash-strapped agency.

    Cuomo said that Paterson's energy and expertise will help the state reform the MTA and improve service for New Yorkers. MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota says he applauds the nomination.

    Paterson, who became both the state's first black and legally blind governor when Spitzer stepped down in 2008, has been hosting a daily talk-radio show and teaching a college class since his gubernatorial run ended in 2010.

    Though he told the News he doesn't have much experience with transportation issues, he was responsible as governor for the hiring of Jay Walder, widely considered one of the most effective MTA heads.

    The former governor's time in office was mired in controversy, including an investigation into his alleged role in the domestic-violence case of one of his closest aides, ethics violations over accepting free Yankee tickets and revelations that he had extramarital affairs and used drugs in the past. 

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