ALBANY — Gov. Paterson has been cleared of criminal witness tampering, but he did use bad judgment when he contacted Bronx hospital worker Sherr-una Booker, who was involved in a violent domestic dispute with now-suspended Paterson aide David Johnson, an investigation by the Attorney General’s office released today has found.
The investigation, led by former Chief Judge Judith Kaye after Attorney General Andrew Cuomo recused himself because of a possible conflict, will be a welcome relief for the embattled governor.
Paterson acknowledged that “he felt it must have been ‘a pretty unruly argument’ to cause someone to call 911,” according to the report.
When asked whether he was alarmed that 911 had been called, Paterson said, “I didn’t see it that way. I got the impression that this was a loud, emotional exchange, and that the police had been called,” according to the report.
Paterson’s spokesman Marissa Shorenstein, who resigned her position in March, testified that Paterson “spoke with her on the evening of February 16, 2010, and told her to compose a public statement for Booker to release to the press. According to Shorenstein, the Governor told her that Booker would be willing to make a short statement denying that the break-up had been acrimonious, though acknowledging that the end of the relationship was not friendly,” the report found.