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Paterson free of criminal charges

Herb Boyd | 4/12/2011, 5:26 p.m.

In a report to be released Wednesday, former Chief Judge Judith Kaye will recommend that no criminal charges be brought against Gov. David Paterson in a case involving one of his top aides in a domestic violence incident, according to breaking news.

Kaye will conclude that Paterson exercised "inappropriate conduct" by making a telephone call to victim Sherr-una Booker, whose relationship with David Johnson was the source of a news story that prompted the governor's call.

The judge apparently believed that Paterson was not calling Booker to have her drop the charges.

Johnson, who for many years was a devoted aide to Paterson, was accused of attacking Booker last Halloween, but the case was closed after she failed to appear in court a day after the governor telephoned her.

Attempts to reach Paterson were unsuccessful.

Last week, in an exclusive story on NBC-TV, Booker recounted the incident and renewed her charges against Johnson, whose case is pending. Kay, it is speculated, will refer all of her evidence regarding Johnson over to the Bronx district attorney's office.

Kaye is a retired judge who took the case after Attorney General Andrew Cuomo recused himself.

Cuomo's stepping aside in the case confirms some of the suspicious harbored by Councilman Charles Barron. In an e-mail to the Amsterdam News, he stated that "the real rat behind all of this is Andrew Cuomo."

"Lest we forget," Barron continued, "it was Andrew Cuomo who initiated the investigation, and it was Cuomo's office that was leaking all kinds of damaging information to the press just to get Paterson out of the race so he wouldn't have to run against a Black man and spoil it for us, as he did with Carl McCall in 2002."

Barron said that without him and an enraged community, Cuomo would have never recused himself. "Governor Paterson should have listened to us when we told him to remain in the race and that he was innocent until proven guilty. While I have big criticisms for Paterson and all of the cuts and layoffs that he's pushing during this budget process, I believe that Andrew Cuomo is going to be a worse nightmare for us as a people.

"This exoneration is a vindication to our position that Andrew Cuomo was behind Paterson's removal. I hope we remember this come election time," Barron concluded.