Gov. Paterson was seen nuzzling and kissing a young woman yesterday afternoon. The kicker? He and the woman, described as a “leggy Latina,” were seated at a New Jersey steakhouse frequently patronized by disgraced former-governor Eliot Spitzer. "He was laying up against her . . . they were up against each other in every intimate way,” said Sharon Farrell, a lawyer who spotted the pair at the River Palm Terrace in Edgewater. After the near-scandals of this past week, what could the married governor possibly have to say for himself?

Paterson, who was dressed in his best shiny purple shirt, told the NY Post, "She works with me," when they ambushed him at his table. His spokeswoman denied the intimacies reported by Farrell and her dining companion Carol McGuirt, and said that the woman was just a friend. But Farrell maintains it was much more than that: "I saw him kissing her neck. He was right on her neck, nudging, like back and forth." McGuirt reported that the governor even made some attempt at discretion. "Every time I went to the ladies room and I came back, he put his head down and his hand over his head," she said.

The day Paterson was sworn into office he admitted that he and his wife have both had extramarital affairs in the past. But despite past indiscretions, his spokeswoman insists the two onlookers got the wrong idea. "Gov. Paterson was having lunch with a friend at a public restaurant and any insinuation of improper behavior is absolutely false," she said. Hopefully he didn't pick up the tab.

Update: Governor Patterson has denied that any untoward nuzzling occurred.