State Police Boss Admits Wrongdoing in Troopergate

By JONATHAN DIENST
|  Tuesday, Nov 24, 2009  |  Updated 4:45 PM EDT
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State Police Boss Admits Wrongdoing in Troopergate

NY State Police

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The former Superintendent of the New York State Police broke the law when he helped release travel records for for State Senate leader Joseph Bruno in what became known as the "Troopergate" scandal.

Preston Felton on Tuesday admitted he violated the Public Officers Law in a settlement with the State Commission on Public Integrity.  The deal required Felton to admit that he was wrong when when he handed over normally private travel documents to aides of then Governor Spitzer.

"Mr. Felton admits that he violated [the law] 'by acceding to requests communicated by William Howard, former Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security, to create documents and transmit sensitive information'" about Bruno's use of State aircraft, the CPI said in a statement.

Bruno had alleged that Spitzer and his aides were improperly using the State Police to spy on him and engage in a smear campaign using his travel records. The Commission said Spitzer and his aides misused their official positions to cause the State Police to engage in conduct to help the Governor political interests which was unrelated to its law enforcement mission.

Preston does not face any fine, but under his signed admission of wrongdoing, he promises not  to contradict the Commission's findings.

A call to a  State Police spokesman was not immediately returned and Felton could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Commission has also said former Spitzer communications director Darren Dopp also helped orchestrate the illegal gathering and leaking of Bruno's travel records.  Bruno had traveled on State Police helicopters to New York City and received police escorts on several trips which included stops at political fundraisers.

Spitzer resigned in disgrace after admitting he was "Cient #9" of a high priced call-girl ring.  Bruno is currently on trial on federal corruption-related charges.

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