Paterson reimburses campaign

New governor admited several affairs last week
March 21, 2008 6:49:24 PM PDT
Governor David Paterson is reimbursing his campaign for two nights at a Manhattan hotel, according to his lawyer, who nonetheless defended the expenditures."It does not appear that there were improper expenditures" even though they were charged to Paterson's campaign credit card, Henry Berger, the campaign's lawyer, said Friday.

Berger said at a Manhattan news conference that a check has been written to Friends of David Paterson but it has not yet been deposited.

The attorney provided reporters with copies of expenses going back to Paterson's state Senate campaign in 2002. The bills from the Quality Inn on Broadway were for $103.87 in December 2002, and for $149.17 in September 2003.

Paterson has acknowledged extramarital affairs with a number of women while he was a state senator. But his lawyer said: "To suggest that every time a check is made out to a woman that something untoward was happening is sexist."

Berger distributed copies of documents and cashed checks provided by Joan Flowers, treasurer of Paterson's campaign, that included a series of charges to Paterson's American Express campaign card while he was state Senate minority leader.

The charges included a dinner with his father, Basil Paterson, and store charges for clothing and furniture. The lawyer said Paterson reimbursed the campaign for all the charges.

Berger also defended a $1,000 payment to a New Jersey woman, Luiza Vizcarrando, saying it was for campaign work.

He said Paterson was mistaken when he recently explained a $500 payment in 2002 to Lila Kirton. Paterson had said Kirton was reimbursed for contributions she had made to former state comptroller Carl McCall. The lawyer said the money actually was payment for Kirton's work on the campaign database.

Eliot Spitzer brought Kirton over from his attorney general's staff when he became governor last year. She is now community affairs director for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Spitzer resigned last week in a prostitution scandal.