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Judge: Paterson won't face charges in Johnson case

Gov. David Paterson, left, with David Johnson, a

Gov. David Paterson, left, with David Johnson, a top Paterson aide accused of assaulting his girlfriend last fall. (June 19, 2008) Photo Credit: AP

Gov. David A. Paterson won't face criminal charges in connection with a former aide's domestic violence case, but remains under investigation for possible wrongdoing involving Yankees World Series tickets, a special counsel said Wednesday.

In a 57-page report, former Chief Judge Judith Kaye said while Paterson made "errors in judgment," he didn't try to interfere in a case in which former top aide David Johnson was accused of assaulting his girlfriend.

"There is no evidence that Governor Paterson committed witness tampering or any related offense," Kaye said.

Kaye noted Paterson spoke twice to Johnson's girlfriend Sherr-Una Booker in February. On Feb. 7, there was no evidence the governor knew she was about to be called as a witness in a Family Court case, said Kaye. On Feb. 24, there wasn't any evidence Paterson tried to "wrongly induce" Booker not to testify.

A footnote by Kaye said the 2009 Yankees ticket issue, involving possible perjury and other improprieties "remains under review."

Kaye also stated there was evidence for a prosecutor to consider criminal charges against Johnson for the Oct. 31, 2009, incident in which he allegedly shoved Booker and tore her clothing. Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson has a domestic violence probe into Booker's allegations.

Paterson's attorney Theodore Wells Jr. said his client "was pleased Judge Kaye, after a thorough and independent investigation, has exonerated him of any wrongdoing in this matter." After a meeting in Manhattan, Paterson himself said he hadn't read the report.

Oscar Michelen, who represents David Johnson said, "The report confirms that Ms. Booker's allegations, which we refute, nevertheless only arose to the level of a violation." He noted under state law police cannot make an arrest for a violation unless they witness it. "Once the district attorney reviews it, we remain confident that the result will be the same," Michelen added.

Kenneth Thompson, Booker's lawyer, didn't return calls seeking comment.

While the Kaye report cleared Paterson of any wrongdoing in the Booker case she raised questions about the way Paterson, the NYPD, State Police and the courts handled some aspects, finding:

With James T. Madore

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