NPR logo NY Guv Paterson Fined $65,125 For Taking 5 'Free' Yanks Tickets

NY Guv Paterson Fined $65,125 For Taking 5 'Free' Yanks Tickets

New York Gov. David Paterson Nov. 30, 2010. Tim Roske/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

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Tim Roske/ASSOCIATED PRESS

New York Gov. David Paterson Nov. 30, 2010.

Tim Roske/ASSOCIATED PRESS

For Gov. David Paterson of New York, the 2010 holiday season is shaping up to be one to forget.

First, it turned out that the free Yankees tickets he got for the 2009 World Series weren't really free after all.

Instead they will cost him $65,125, which is the amount of the fine he was hit with by the Commission on Public Integrity.

That works out to $13,025 per ticket. This has got to be some kind of record.

The governor was fined for soliciting the tickets, according to the panel. The commission ruled that Paterson also lied about the circumstances.

As the New York Times' City Room blog reported:

In its finding, the commission also concluded that the governor had lied about his acceptance of the tickets, saying that Mr. Paterson’s testimony, in which he said he always intended to pay for them, was refuted by his own staff, Yankees officials and documentary evidence, “not to mention common sense.”

Adding insult to injury for the governor is that the news of the huge fine comes on the heels of an interview in the New York Times in which the mayor is quoted on the potential money worries he'll face after he leaves the governor's mansion.

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Those worries are compounded by the governor being legally blind but not having the training to live independently. As governor, he was able to depend on state police and aides to help him.

But he loses that help when he leaves the governor's office in January. And he fears he may not be able to financially afford the assistance he'l need.

An NYT excerpt:

“You have a false income when you’re governor, because you live in the executive mansion,” he said, ticking off the perks: free meals, free transportation, free staff. “And, so, if you computed that out to a salary, it’s probably twice the governor’s salary...

... I am worried about money, because I am not a billionaire, in case you hadn’t heard,” he said.