Calls for Gov. David Paterson to abandon his election bid mounted Thursday as the state attorney general announced he would investigate whether the administration or state police committed a crime in talking to a woman who had filed a domestic violence report against a top aide to the governor.
Paterson's top criminal justice Cabinet member resigned Thursday over the burgeoning scandal, saying conduct by the state police was "distressing" for an administration that has devoted itself to reducing domestic violence.
Elected officials and other candidates for office clamored for Paterson to end his campaign, formally launched just five days ago, as the turmoil mushroomed around longtime adviser David Johnson. A police report detailed in The New York Times discusses a confrontation between Johnson and a woman over her Halloween costume.
The New York Times reported Wednesday on court papers showing a phone call between state police and the woman. Paterson's office acknowledges he talked to the woman but says she placed the call, and a spokesman for the governor denied anyone tried to keep the woman from pursuing a domestic violence case.
The state police said in a news release that they won't comment on any aspect of the case during the investigation by the office of Andrew Cuomo, the popular attorney general whom many would like to see run as the Democratic candidate for governor instead of Paterson.
The Paterson administration asked Cuomo's office to investigate the matter, and the attorney general's office said it would look into whether crimes or other wrongdoing were committed. The state police said Cuomo asked the agency not to open its own internal probe.