NPR logo NY Gov. David Paterson To Be Probed By Independent Counsel


NY Gov. David Paterson To Be Probed By Independent Counsel

New York Gov. David Paterson's troubles appear to be mounting. Paterson is to be investigated by an independent counsel.

NPR's Russell Lewis tells us that in a Thursday afternoon teleconference, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo "says according to his preliminary findings, there are 'credible issues to review in a probe' of the governor. He has recused himself and appointed former Chief Judge Judith Kaye to oversee that review as an independent counsel."

It's difficult to see this as anything but more bad news for Paterson. The investigation into whether he lied when he appeared before a state ethics commission will now likely drag out longer than it would have if Cuomo had kept leading the probe. Generally speaking, longer investigations are usually worse for the subjects since, if nothing else, they're a significant distraction.

The New York Times reports the following:

ALBANY — Facing growing political pressure, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Thursday that he will appoint an independent counsel to take over his office's investigation into the Paterson administration's response to a domestic violence case.

Mr. Cuomo said he will appoint Judith S. Kaye, the former Chief Judge of New York, to lead the inquiry, along with an investigation into whether the governor lied when he was questioned by the state ethics commission into his solicitation of free Yankees World Series tickets.

The surprising development comes after Mr. Cuomo's staff has already spent two weeks investigating the domestic violence case. Those staffers will now report to Ms. Kaye instead of Mr. Cuomo, who will recuse himself from both investigations.

"An investigation of a sitting governor of New York is a complex weighty matter indeed," Mr. Cuomo said on a conference call, adding, "We have determined there are credible issues that need to be resolved. An immediate resolution of these matters does not now appear to be at hand."

Mr. Cuomo is poised to formally announce his own bid for governor in the coming weeks, and managing the investigations of Mr. Paterson, a fellow Democrat, had become increasingly complicated.