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Investigators talk with troopers in Paterson flap

Investigators for Attorney General Andrew Cuomo were interviewing New York State Police officers last night in connection with the swirling scandal surrounding Gov. David A. Paterson, said a lawyer familiar with the investigation.

The troopers were appearing pursuant to a subpoena as Cuomo's staff probes whether Paterson or any members of his staff improperly approached a witness in a domestic abuse case involving a key aide to the governor, said the lawyer, who didn't want to be named.

A spokesman for Cuomo declined to comment on the investigation Tuesday, as did a spokesman for the state police.

Paterson, his staffers and state police officials have been dealing with a whirlwind of allegations stemming from a complaint of domestic abuse lodged against aide David Johnson. Published reports have asserted that Paterson and his aides contacted the complaining witness before she was scheduled to appear in a civil proceeding in the Bronx. The woman then didn't appear, and the case was dismissed.

Attorneys interviewed recently by Newsday said that while much isn't known about the alleged encounters, the reports indicate that Cuomo's staff is looking at possible witness tampering and obstruction of governmental administration. Both offenses are misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in prison.

An NYPD official said Cuomo's investigators recently interviewed cops of the 47th Precinct who first responded on Oct. 31, 2009, to the alleged victim's complaint of domestic abuse.

An NYPD spokesman said the woman had alleged that she had been grabbed, her costume ripped off and then pushed into a mirror.

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