December 22, 2010

Governor David A. Paterson fined $62,125 after being found guilty of charges that he received complimentary tickets to Game 1 of the 2009 World Series

Governor David A. Paterson fined $62,125 after being found guilty of charges that he received complimentary tickets to Game 1 of the 2009 World Series
Source: The New York State Commission on Public Integrity

On December 21, 2010, the New York State Commission on Public Integrity announced that it had fined Governor David A. Paterson $62,125* after finding him guilty of charges that he solicited, accepted and received five complimentary tickets to Game One of the 2009 World Series for himself, two aides, his teenage son and his son's friend.

The Commission reports that "It is the largest fine imposed on a public official" by it.

The Commission said that “The Governor's false testimony is . . . evidence that he knew his conduct was unlawful and, thus, is one factor underlying the Commission's determination that the Governor violated Public Officers Law §§73(5)(a), 73(5)(b), 74(3)(d), 74(3)(f) and 74(3)(h).”

The Decision also noted that Governor Paterson “did not perform a ceremonial function at the game, and his attendance was not related to his duties and responsibility as a public official.” Further, the Commission indicated that “Even if the Governor had performed a ceremonial function at the game, it would not have entitled him to free tickets for his son and his son's friend.”

The Commission noted that the Yankees have “myriad and continuing business and financial interests that relate to New York State government,” including real estate, stadium development and tax matters.

“The moral and ethical tone of any organization is set at the top. Unfortunately the Governor set a totally inappropriate tone by his dishonest and unethical conduct. Such conduct cannot be tolerated by any New York State employee, particularly our Governor,” commented Michael Cherkasky, the Chairman of the Commission.

* The $62,125 civil penalty consists of the value of the tickets, $2,125, plus $25,000 for violating Public Officers Law §73(5)(a), $25,000 for violating Public Officers Law §73(5)(b), and $10,000 for violating Public Officers Law §74(3)(d). The law does not authorize a civil penalty for a violation of Public Officers Law §§74(3)(f) and §74(3)(h).

Click here to read the Hearing Officer's Decision dated 12/9/2010.

CAUTION

Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material in this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor members of the staff are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to seek such advice from a competent professional.