Embattled New York governor David Patterson may be investigated by the New York State Ethics Committee for accepting as many as 5 Yankee tickets for last Wednesday’s Game 1 in the Bronx. The New York Post broke the story on Monday, stating that the tickets had a value of at least $2,000.
Public officials like the governor are prohibited for accepting gifts of anything higher than a “nominal value” from entities like the Yankees who lobby for their interests in state government.
The intriguing thing is the initial lies told by the governor’s office. At first questioning by the Post, Patterson spokesman Peter Kauffmann said that Yankees president Randy Levine personally offered the tickets to Patterson. When questioned, Levine called Kauffmann and Patterson liars, saying: “He’s a liar. I never talked to him.”
So Kauffmann told another story – that Yankees COO Lonn Trost offered the tickets to Patterson. Levine also denied that story. At that point, according to the Post, Kauffmann admitted that Trost had offered playoff tickets, but not World Series tickets specifically.
The Post found out from an official in Patterson’s office that Patterson had an aide get the tickets for him, because “the governor did not want to pay.”
This is very naughty.
Patterson is already embattled among voters in New York State. He came to power after former NY governor Elliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace after a prostitution scandal, just in time for the US economic collapse. Patterson has imposed several new taxes and other things that have earned him one of the lowest approval ratings ever for a NY governor.
This ethics issue will not help anything. Kinda foolish on his part.