New York Gov. David Paterson, his confidence apparently buoyed by a show of support from influential black leaders, said Friday that he would not resign despite facing two scandals, withering support from the public, and a shaken staff.
Paterson spoke briefly outside his Manhattan office, a day after the Rev. Al Sharpton convened a meeting of black political and civic leaders to decide whether they should urge Paterson, New York’s first black governor, to quit. They decided Paterson should remain in office.
Paterson’s associates say the group’s opinion is an important guide for the governor, and his comments Friday seemed to confirm that.
“I don’t have any plans to resign. I am working on the business of the people of New York state,” Paterson said. “At a certain point, I will cooperate with the investigations and will be clearing my name.”
Paterson faces two investigations: one into allegations that his office had improper contact with the ex-girlfriend of a close gubernatorial aide to pressure her to drop a domestic violence case against the aide; and the second into allegations that the governor lied about whether he sought free World Series tickets from the New York Yankees in violation of state ethics laws.
Paterson denies wrongdoing but has said little publicly about the cases, citing the ongoing investigations.
Since the scandals have erupted in the last two weeks, three top Paterson staffers have quit, most recently his chief spokesman, Peter Kauffmann.