Read/React: Gov. Paterson's Actions 'Indefensible'

Did Gov. Paterson cover up abuse allegations for a staffer?

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Adam Serwer of The American Prospect has some thoughts on what appears to be the real bombshell the New York Times had regarding Gov. David Paterson. It appears Paterson may have had abuse allegations against an aide covered up

Late last year, a member of the governor's personal security detail visited a woman who had been trying to press charges against his aide, David W. Johnson, over an incident in which Johnson had allegedly "choked her, stripped her of much of her clothing, smashed her against a mirrored dresser and taken two telephones from her to prevent her from calling for help," according to the police report obtained by the Times. The woman claims the state police, who did not have jurisdiction, had been "harassing" her to drop the case. The Times also describes an incident in which the governor himself spoke on the phone with the woman:

Through a spokesman, Mr. Paterson said the call actually took place the day before the scheduled court hearing and maintained that the woman had initiated it. He declined to answer further questions about his role in the matter.

The woman’s lawyer, Lawrence B. Saftler, said that the conversation lasted about a minute and that the governor asked how she was doing and if there was anything he could do for her. “If you need me,” he said, according to Mr. Saftler, “I’m here for you.”

After the call, the woman failed to appear at the next hearing -- even though she had sought an order of protection against Johnson months earlier. They say the cover-up is worse than the crime, but obviously that may not the case here.