With only days left on the calendar, Albany has given us some more reasons to rejoice that the year is ending.
Gov. David A. Paterson has been fined $62,125 for accepting free 2009 World Series tickets and then falsely claiming he'd intended to pay for them. The tickets were a minor transgression, but the governor's apparent attempt at a cover-up speaks to the character of his administration. "Unfortunately," said Michael Cherkasky, chairman of the state Commission on Public Integrity, "the governor set a totally inappropriate tone by his dishonest and unethical conduct."
This is to say nothing of any possible fallout from the favoritism and finagling that went into the initial choice of a contractor for video slot machines at Aqueduct racetrack. Federal prosecutors are looking into that one.
The latest scandal news from Albany demonstrates the urgency for a cleanup in the new year. Maybe the new governor, with the new Republican majority in the Senate due to the narrow victory of Jack Martins in Long Island's 7th District, will finally find a way to elevate the ethics of state government. hN