I wonder if he'll eventually have to resign.
By Friday, some newspaper editorial writers were demanding something more than an end to his campaign: they were calling for his resignation. That only added to the increasing sense that it would be nearly impossible for him to run the state and the campaign with the abuse case in the background...And many had said publicly this week that Mr. Paterson’s chances had been damaged, perhaps irreparably, by the disclosures that the governor himself had stepped in on behalf of David W. Johnson, 37, a close confidant who rose from being a young intern to being Mr. Paterson’s driver and scheduler and, later, to a wider role in Mr. Paterson’s operation.
Last fall Mr. Johnson’s longtime companion accused him of brutally assaulting her , telling the police that he had choked her and thrown her against a dresser. She also said that Mr. Johnson had kept her from calling for help.
Twice, the woman was granted a temporary order of protection against Mr. Johnson. But she complained in court that the State Police had pressed her to drop the allegations.
Then, on Feb. 7, the day before a court hearing about a final protective order, Mr. Paterson spoke to her on the phone. She did not show up for the hearing the next day, and the judge dismissed her the case.
Domestic-violence experts and advocates said it was inappropriate for the governor, the most powerful state official — and a close friend of Mr. Johnson’s — to have any contact with the woman. At the same time, questions were emerging about the role of State Police officials, who had initially described their contact with the woman as an effort to offer her counseling and let her know of “her options.”
But on Thursday, two people who had been briefed on the matter said that the head of the governor’s security detail, Maj. Charles Day, had contacted her himself. Former and current state officials said that was a highly unusual move, given that the State Police had no jurisdiction in the case.
The administration’s handling of the case will now be investigated by the state’s attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, who wants the governor’s job. Some government-watchdog groups said that given Mr. Cuomo’s hopes for the future, an independent prosecutor should be appointed.
The political fallout appeared to be devastating. Even before his speech at Hofstra last week Mr. Paterson had resisted pressure from within Democratic circles to stand down in favor of Mr. Cuomo, whom many Democrats believe would have a better chance of winning in November.
Through the day on Thursday, allies had urged Mr. Paterson to call off his bid for election. They said his political standing had been damaged beyond repair. Among those who said Mr. Paterson should stand down were senior Democratic members of New York’s Congressional delegation, top Democratic lawmakers in Albany and a number of black Democratic officials, including some from Harlem, Mr. Paterson’s home base.