Woman at Center of Gov. Aide Scandal Met With Prosecutors Today

Attorney for David Johnson maintains his client committed no crime

By Glenn Zimmerman and Alice McQuillan
|  Friday, Jul 23, 2010  |  Updated 4:40 PM EDT
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The woman at the center of a domestic abuse scandal that clouded the governor's office says she intends to refile charges against former Paterson aide David Johnson.

The woman at the center of a domestic abuse scandal that clouded the governor's office says she intends to refile charges against former Paterson aide David Johnson.

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Sherr-una Booker Says She Wants "The Truth to Come Out"

Sherr-una Booker talks candidly about domestic violence and her plans to refile domestic violence charges against her former boyfriend, an ex aide to Gov. David Paterson.
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The woman who accused Governor David Paterson's former aide of domestic violence in a series of claims that rocked Albany and propelled Paterson to abandon his re-election campaign is met with prosecutors Friday.

Sherr-una Booker arrived at the Bronx District Attorney's office around 9:30 a.m. to ask prosecutors to file criminal charges against her ex-boyfriend, David Johnson, once Paterson's right hand man. 

Booker declined comment but her attorney, Ken Thompson, said "the truth is going to come out."

"She's walking into this building, not because she necessarily wants to, but because she must do so in order to stand up for her rights and the rights of all women who have been victims of domestic violence," said Thompson.  "That's why we are here today.  We hope to hold David Johnson accountable for what he did to Miss Booker."

She maintains that Johnson roughed her up in their Bronx apartment last October in a dispute over her Halloween costume.

In an exclusive interview with NBCNewYork,  Booker said she wants justice -- and to serve as an example to other battered women.

"It's not okay for anyone to put their hands on anyone else," said Booker, 41.  "It's not okay for someone to be fearful, it's just not okay. Speak up. Stand up."

She spent about two hours with prosecutors from the domestic violence bureau who agreed to investigate her claims, said Steven Reed, a spokesman for Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson.

"We're investigating, we're looking into the allegations," said Reed who added that no immediate determination was made whether or not to pursue criminal charges.

David Johnson's attorney, Oscar Michelen, denied that his client physically assulted Booker.  In a letter to the Bronx DA, Michelen wrote that  Booker told police the couple had a "verbal dispute" on the Halloween night she reportedly said her boyfriend  choked and beat her and ripped off her clothes. 

"The police came to the apartment ... [there was] no crime committed," Michelen said.

Booker stands by what she told a family court judge -- that state police were trying to pressure her to drop her case against Johnson. After Gov. Paterson called her, she missed a court appearance, leading the judge to dismiss the original case against Johnson in February. 

The governor has denied any wrongdoing.

"I have never abused my office," he said at a news conference when the allegations became public months ago.

Officials are still waiting for a report from Judith Kaye, the independent counsel Attorney General Andrew Cuomo tapped to review the case after he recused himself amid concerns about conflicts of interest given his election campaign to become the next governor.

Meanwhile, Johnson remains suspended without pay. A spokesman for the governor's office says Paterson continues to focus on finishing the budget and tending to other matters crucial to the state.

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