A retired judge investigating New York Gov. David Paterson’s role in a domestic violence case involving a close aide recommended today that no criminal charges be pressed against the governor. She did say, however, that Paterson had in “errors in judgment” when contacting the alleged victim.
“It is hard to reconcile this conduct with the Governor’s expressed commitment to the cause of domestic violence prevention,” wrote Judge Judith Kaye in her report. Kaye was asked to conduct the investigation after Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is running for governor, recused himself.
Paterson dropped his bid for a full term as governor after a Times story on the case. The Times reported that Paterson and his state police security detail contacted the then-girlfriend of his driver, David Johnson, after she accused him of attacking her in a domestic dispute.
Kaye, after interviewing Paterson and 30 other witnesses, including the victim, Sherr-Una Booker, determined that Paterson didn’t break any witness-tampering or other laws.
She did, however, say it was Paterson had “errors in judgment” when contacting Booker.
“There were numerous telephone contacts between the Governor and Booker, some that he initiated even after he became aware of the serious nature of her accusations, and even just after he referred this matter to the OAG,” Kaye said. “Regardless of any good faith reasons on the part of the Governor for contacts that he initiated, these were errors of judgment.”
She also hit Paterson for not taking action against Johnson and for relying on him to deny charges to the media. “It is hard to reconcile this conduct with the Governor’s expressed commitment to the cause of domestic violence prevention,” she wrote.