ALBANY, N.Y.(PIX11)—Ex-Gov. David Paterson has dodged a big bullet that easily could've ended in a stint in the state pen.
The Albany County District Attorney has decided to drop perjury charges that accused him of lying when he was in office -- about accepting free Yankees tickets for the 2009 World Series.
Published reports say D.A. David Soares informed Paterson Wednesday, via a letter to his lawyer; Paterson has yet to comment.
Last year, a state Commission On Public Integrity report charged Paterson with violating ethics laws when he contradicted his staff, the Yankees and common sense by falsely claiming he had every intention of paying for the tickets.
Before leaving office, the ex-governor forked over $62,125 in fines to the commission. The penalty was broken down as follows: $2,125 value of the tickets and $60,000 for three violations of the state's public officer's law.
The report said Paterson was not entitled to free tickets for himself, his son and his son's friend and two members of his staff -- even if he attended the games in a ceremonial capacity. Paterson had argued it was his duty (as governor) to attend the World Series opener at the new Yankees Stadium in the Bronx.
"The moral and ethical tone of any organization is set at the top. Unfortunately, the governor set a totally inappropriate tone by his dishonest and unethical conduct," commission Chairman Michael Cherkasky said in the report. "Such conduct cannot be tolerated by any New York State employee, particularly our governor."
The Daily News reported that D.A. Soares didn't dispute the charges, but said there wasn't enough evidence to prove his case beyond a shadow of a doubt.