With Gov Paterson accused of improper conduct regarding the Aqueduct slots, his top personal aide—who was recently a subject of the Times’ “Bombshell” expose—is struggling to explain a football vacation funded by an NYC businessman. According to the Post David Johnson’s hotel bill, tickets to a Giant-Cowboy game and plane trip to Dallas (he flew coach) were all paid for by affordable-housing developer Jonathan Coren. By law, elected officials and their staff aren’t allowed to accept gifts from parties who seek their good graces.
Paterson’s office said it wrote Coren a reimbursement check for the money, but when asked for proof it backtracked. "He reimbursed with cash and reimbursed all expenses, including airfare, hotel and the[game] tickets," said Paterson spokeswoman Marissa Shorenstein. She claims it was a personal trip, not business, and that Coren and Johnson are pals. According to the Times, Johnson has a spotted record that includes selling crack and beating women.