Did the NY Times's Governor Paterson "bombshell" finally explode? Last night the paper dropped a long article about how a Bronx woman accused her companion, Paterson's longtime aide David Johnson, of abuse—but then abandoned legal action after she was allegedly harassed by state troopers, and received a personal phone call from the Governor. The assault allegedly occurred in the unidentified woman's apartment, which she shared with her 13-year-old son, on Halloween night 2009. The Times had mentioned the attack in their first piece, but now we get the full, appalling reveal:

According to the woman’s account, Mr. Johnson confronted her in their bedroom, choked her, tore her Halloween costume off, pushed her into the dresser and then continued to choke her with one hand. In her account, she screamed for Mr. Johnson to stop and then screamed for the help of a friend who was visiting.

The woman said Mr. Johnson first took one telephone from her to prevent her from calling the police, and then chased her into another room when she went to find a second phone. Mr. Johnson then turned to the woman’s friend and told her to leave, “if you know what’s good for you,” according to the woman’s account.

Johnson was gone by the time the police arrived. Less than 24 hours later, a member of Paterson's state police detail paid the woman a little visit, even though the incident was written up as second-degree harassment, a misdemeanor, and under NYPD jurisdiction. (This security detail, which is 200-strong under Paterson, also carried water for Governor Spitzer to "spy" on then-Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.) State Police superintendent Harry Corbitt tells the Times such meetings are standard operating procedure whenever a high-profile person was involved in this kind of incident, and insists, "We never pressured her, at least what I was advised; we never pressured her not to press charges. We just gave her options."

The woman made two appearances in Family Court and said, "The State Police contacted me because they didn’t want me to get an order of protection or press charges or anything." Orders of protection are "not considered in effect until they have been served on the person accused of the offense." Johnson was never served, and in court his attorney refused to accept service on behalf of his client. In an editorial meeting with the Times, Paterson had expressed outrage about orders of protection being ignored—in the case of Hiram Monserrate, the former state senator convicted of assaulting his companion.

The day before the woman's February 8th court appearance, she received a phone call from Paterson, according to her lawyer, who told the Times Paterson never mentioned the court case. The call lasted about a minute; Paterson asked how she was doing and told her, "If you need me, I’m here for you." Paterson acknowledges the call took place, but says she called him. Nevertheless, she did not appear in court on the 8th, and as a result her case was dismissed.

In response to the article, Paterson has decided to request an investigation from his likely gubernatorial rival, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. In a statement released last night, Paterson's spokesperson said the Governor will request Cuomo's office to "investigate his administration’s handling of the matter. The governor also said he would suspend Mr. Johnson without pay."

Rumors about the Gray Lady's Paterson-related investigative work reached a boiling point a few weeks ago; the two Times articles since have been a little anticlimactic compared to what was rumored. One explored Johnson's history of allegedly assaulting women (and his growing influence with Paterson) and another about Paterson's apparent laziness. Paterson blasted the Times for the first Johnson story, saying, "He’s not even part of our senior staff—he is a valued and hard-working assistant."