NYT's Paterson 'Bombshell': Top Aide Is an Ex-Con

Adviser David Johnson busted for drugs as teen
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2010 2:33 AM CST
Updated Feb 17, 2010 7:58 AM CST
NYT's Paterson 'Bombshell': Top Aide Is an Ex-Con
New York Gov. David Paterson is assisted by his senior adviser, David Johnson as he poses for photos before a town hall meeting in Batavia, NY.   (AP Photo/David Duprey)

The New York Times has finally dropped its long-rumored "bombshell" report on Gov. David Paterson and it's not quite as explosive or sexy as many expected. The story profiles the governor's driver-turned-aide David W. Johnson, noting that he was arrested twice on felony drug charges as a teenager and busted for misdemeanor assault in the 1990s. Johnson has risen from an internship to one of the highest posts in Paterson's administration, raking in a cool $136,000 a year.

"I will not turn my back on someone because of mistakes made as a teenager,” Paterson tells the Times, stressing that the drug arrests were long ago and that Johnson has made the most of a second chance. Johnson has also been involved in at least three altercations with women, two of which required a call to police. This could be a major embarrassment for Paterson, who has made domestic violence a key issue. (More David Johnson stories.)

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