Paterson Aide's Fast Ascent

Is this the bombshell that's supposed to end New York Governor David Paterson's career? The New York Times has run its much-anticipated story and it focuses not on Paterson's romantic life, but rather the background of one of his longtime aides. David A. Johnson began working as an intern for Paterson when he was a state legislator. Johnson, 37, now makes $132,000 a year and has his own room in the governor's mansion. Johnson was twice arrested on felony drug charges in his teens, was once arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge, and has three times been involved in disputes with women that resulted in calls to police. (Paterson has campaigned against domestic violence.) The New York Times reports that some of the governor's veteran aides are worried that Johnson has a lot of influence but lacks the ability to help Paterson through the state's fiscal crisis. Agency heads complain they have to go through Johnson to get to the governor. In a statement Wednesday, Paterson said he is “proud” of Johnson’s accomplishments and “the conclusions reached by the Times report are not supported by the facts”: “There is no independent evidence presented that would substantiate any claims of violence committed by David Johnson against a woman, a fact underscored by the absence of a single judicial finding that any such incident ever took place.”