Monday, March 01, 2010

Paterson Directed Aides To Influence Top Adviser's Accuser

This may only be the tip of the iceberg, and for all of Democrat David Paterson's pronouncements that he intends to serve out his term, the fact that he was busy sending his top advisers to try and get the accuser to changer her story and to describe the assault as nonviolent smacks of moving to influence the outcome of a pending criminal case.
According to one person who was briefed on the matter, the governor instructed his press secretary, Marissa Shorenstein, to ask the woman to publicly describe the episode as nonviolent, contradicting her accounts to the police and in court.

Mr. Paterson also enlisted another state employee, Deneane Brown, a mutual friend of the governor and the accuser, to make contact with the woman before she was due in court to finalize an order of protection against the aide. Ms. Brown, an employee of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, reached out to the woman on more than one occasion over a period of several days, and arranged a phone call between the governor and the woman.

After the calls from Ms. Brown and the conversation with the governor, the woman failed to appear for the court hearing on Feb. 8, and the case was dropped.

These accounts provide the first evidence that Mr. Paterson helped direct an effort to influence the accuser.
It would appear that AG Andrew Cuomo is going to have a ton of information to sort through that shows that Paterson's office was busy trying to influence Brown's testimony and to make her case disappear. And, from a political standpoint, it highlights that Paterson's toast and may not last until the end of his term.

This is precisely the kind of damaging evidence that would kill his political capital and send his last remaining supporters fleeing. Who would want to stand by damaged goods?

What is perhaps most disappointing about Paterson is that he had been a strong supporter of the rights of those who were victims of domestic abuse, and yet here he's willing to throw those principles by the board and instead put politics ahead of justice.

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