New York Gov. David Paterson has been fined $62,125 for accepting several 2009 World Series tickets from the New York Yankees.
The state Commission on Public Integrity announced today that it found that Paterson (D), who will finish his term at the end of the month, guilty of breaking state ethics law by accepting illegal gifts.
The commission also found that Paterson had lied to the commission about the tickets in February. It’s a finding also made by an independent investigator appointed by the state attorney general’s office, who said in August that Paterson could be charged with perjury. The case is now in the hands of the Albany County district attorney, who has not yet announced a decision about whether to charge Paterson.“The Governor’s testimony that he always intended to pay for the tickets was refuted by his staff, the Yankees, an independent handwriting expert and common sense,” the commission said in a press release, adding that his lying factored into their decision.
In October 2009, Paterson took his son and his son’s friend to Game 1 of the World Series at Yankees Stadium, along with two aides. The tickets were worth $2,125.
Paterson never planned to pay for his own ticket, considering attending the game a part of his official duties. The commission, however, found that it couldn’t count as official duties when Paterson did not publicly speak at the game, nor was he recognized publicly as being at the game.
He told investigators earlier this year, thought, that he always planned to pay for the tickets for his son and son’s friend. He said he had brought a check for $850 to the game with him and gave it to an aide to give to the Yankees.
But investigators have found that Paterson wasn’t telling the truth, and didn’t write a check until days later.
The fine includes the $2,125 price of the tickets, plus fines for three of the five ethics laws he broke. You can read the full decision here (PDF).
The New York Times reported today that Paterson is concerned about making a living after leaving office.