“Sleazy” Rumors Put N.Y. Gov. Paterson on Defensive

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New York Gov. David Paterson is fighting rumors which have been widely circulated around the New York state house and national media of his involvement in sex scandals and drug abuse.

A January 30 New York Post report claims Paterson was caught by state police in a utility closet in the governor’s mansion with a woman other than his wife. He’s also awaiting a New York Times piece which is said to make similar accusations.

“The human decency, if not journalists’ ethics, I think would compel an organization when they see a person being slandered for over two weeks now…to clear the air and at least say that the charges that are being made are not in the perimeters of our investigation,” Patterson told CNN.

In comments to the Associated Press, Paterson called the rumors a “callous and sleazy” assault on his character

“For the last couple of weeks I have been the subject of what, even by Albany standards, has been a spate of outrageous rumors about me,” said Paterson.

He said he is unsure of where the rumors are originating, but he believes that treatment he is receiving is unfair.

“It is certainly serving others’ interest and not mine, and I think it’s a callous and sleazy way to treat a governor who is just trying to do his job and, in a democracy, is trying to keep his job,” he said.

This is not the first time Paterson’s name has surfaced in connection with a sex scandal. In 2008, Paterson told the New York Daily News that he and his wife, Michelle, have had extra-marital affairs.

Throughout the recent allegations, Paterson has maintained that he will remain governor and re-iterated his intention to seek election in his own right in the fall. Paterson became governor after his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, stepped down following a highly publicized sex scandal.

“The only way I'm not going to be governor next year is at the ballot box, and the only way that I will be leaving the office before is in a box,” he said.