Gov. David Paterson spoke to reporters at the Capitol for more than seven minutes this afternoon, during which he said he did not lie to the Public Integrity Commission about the Yankees tickets, did nothing that would warrant his removal from office and thinks the best place for him to be now is in Albany, working with lawmakers on a budget for the new fiscal year, which begins April 1.
The continuous breaking news about the governor has attracted a lot of media attention, including reporters from New York City and Buffalo.
The governor said he looks forward to telling his side of the story involving the other controversy surrounding his office — an investigation into whether State Police, the governor and staff members interfered in an alleged domestic-violence dispute involving a top gubernatorial aide.
“It’s very difficult because coming forward publicly before subjecting yourself to the testimony in an investigation can be a very dangerous thing to do, and the last thing I want to do is to offend the attorney general’s office and do anything,” the governor said, adding that when the facts come out “I’ll be vindicated.”
Paterson cited his long history of working on domestic-violence work on those issues, and I feel that I have displayed respect, sensitivity to people who either were or may have been abused, and I don’t think that that changed over the past few months, but my inability to discuss that prohibits me from communicating with the public in a way the public will understand that I think I performed as the same person in the last few months that I’ve been in the last 25 years,” he said.
The governor said he’s “hoping that the public will give me a fair hearing, that people will understand my sincerity on the issue and that I at all times upheld the oath of my office and have never at any point attempted to influence or coerce anyone to do anything they didn’t want to do.”
The governor said no when asked if it was a distraction for him to stay in office right now. He said he’s done nothing wrong that would warrant being removed as governor.
“I think it’s better for the state for me to stay here right now and work on this budget process all the way through,” he said.
“Now in terms of distractions, that’s part of public service…These are difficult times, they’re tough times, but I’m going to be tough too,” he added.