ALBANY, N.Y. (WPIX)—Political insiders tell PIX News that embattled New York Governor David Paterson is going to carry his fight to the end.
Still insisting he will be vindicated of any wrongdoing, the Governor has retained a high profile attorney who will guide him through testimony he will be giving to investigators from Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office.
Paterson has already admitted to speaking to the accuser Sherr-una Booker, but denies saying anything to influence her to drop the charges that Johnson roughed her up last October. Even more damning are the assertions that the Governor had two staffers reach out to the woman to encourage her "to make this go away," according to one account in the New York Times.
Prominent black leaders, following a meeting Thursday night, decided to continue their support of the Governor and to allow due process to take its course.
Chief of Staff Larry Schwartz called a meeting of the Governor's staff for Friday afternoon. According to sources, it will be nothing more than "a pep rally" to encourage no further defections. Three high level members of the Governor's team have already stepped down, including State Police Superintendent Harry Corbitt and Communications Director Peter Kauffmann.
A top Democrat in Albany says that while the pressure is mounting for the Governor to resign, there is no indication that is imminent, "at least not in the next few days." A safe barometer of that is fact that the Secretary of the Senate Joseph Aponte is leaving town for the weekend. He wouldn't be if the Governor was intending to make any announcement. Paterson, say the sources, plans to hold his ground until Cuomo issues his findings, which is expected within two weeks.
Some in Albany fear the outcome will be more troublesome for Paterson and will leave him no choice but to resign. Much of it depends on who said what, and when.
An even greater threat to his is the ethics probe now in the hands of the Albany District Attorney. That could lead to criminal charges if it is found the Governor perjured himself regarding the free tickets he received from the Yankees to attend last years World Series.