Paterson Pays $62K Fine over Yankees Tickets

Commission rules governor provided false testimony, which proved he knew his conduct was illegal

Friday, Feb 4, 2011  |  Updated 2:04 PM EDT
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Gov. David Paterson's testimony about his plans to pay for World Series tickets last year was "inaccurate and misleading" and warrants consideration of criminal charges by a prosecutor, a special investigation into the matter has concluded.

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Now those were expensive seats.

Former New York Gov. David Paterson has paid $62,124 to settle his fine from the state ethics board over free Yankees tickets he obtained for the 2009 World Series.
       
The board's spokesman, Walter Ayres, confirms to The Associated Press that the check was received Thursday.  The state Public Integrity Commission found the Democrat violated ethics laws in obtaining the tickets.
       
The commission found Paterson contradicted his staff, the Yankees and common sense when he falsely claimed he always intended to pay for five tickets to the first game of the 2009 World Series at Yankee Stadium.
       
Paterson performed no ceremonial function at the game he attended with his son, his son's friend, and two staff members.

Late last year, a commission looking into the gift ruled that Paterson had not told the truth when he said he had intended to pay for the tickets. "The Governor’s false testimony is . . . evidence that he knew his conduct was unlawful and, thus, is one factor underlying the Commission’s determination that the Governor violated Public Officers Law," the ruling said.

Paterson's lawyer fired back, saying the commission was in the wrong.

“The Public Integrity Commission’s decision to impose a punitive fine for alleged perjury when its own hearing officer did not find that the Governor gave false testimony is outrageous," Theodore Wells said.

Paterson, who rose to office in 2008 when Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned amid a prostitution scandal, was never charged with a crime though.

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