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State employee: Paterson wanted matter to "go away"

ALBANY - A state employee allegedly asked by Gov. David A. Paterson to intervene in a domestic violence case involving one of his aides has told investigators the governor wanted the matter to "go away," according to a report published last night.

Citing a knowledgeable source, The New York Times said state worker Deneane Brown quoted Paterson telling her to convey to the woman who claimed to have been assaulted: "Tell her the governor wants her to make this go away."

A spokesman for Paterson didn't immediately respond to Newsday's request for comment. Paterson, through his spokesman, denied to the Times that he had told Brown to "make this go away."

Brown, who works at the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, couldn't be reached.

The latest Times article came a day after it revealed Paterson had requested Brown and his press secretary contact the woman at the center of the Oct. 31 alleged domestic violence incident.

Earlier Tuesday, the State Legislature's top leaders stood by Paterson amid new calls for him to step down. Paterson said last night he had no plans to resign.

Meanwhile, investigators for Attorney General Andrew Cuomo were interviewing State Police officers yesterday.

The troopers were appearing pursuant to a subpoena as Cuomo's staff probes whether Paterson or any members of his staff improperly approached the alleged female victim of domestic abuse, said a lawyer who didn't want to be named but who is familiar with the probe.

A spokesman for Cuomo declined to comment on the investigation yesterday, 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 woman 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 while not much is known about the alleged encounters, media reports indicate 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.

With Elizabeth Moore


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