Report: Spitzer ordered travel records on Bruno

A criminal prosecutor said Friday that former Gov. Eliot Spitzer ordered the dirty tricks travel rec
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A criminal prosecutor said Friday that former Gov. Eliot Spitzer ordered the dirty tricks travel records scandal to discredit Senate Republican leader Joseph Bruno despite the former governor’s public denials.

Troopergate report

To read Albany County District Attorney David Soares’ complete report on the Troopergate scandal, click here (Warning: Report includes ojectionable language).

Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares said his second investigation of the scandal finds former Spitzer aide Darren Dopp was directly ordered by Spitzer in a profanity laced exchange to release records that could embarrass Bruno and perhaps lead him deeper into a federal investigation.

Soares called for no action against Spitzer or any aides. Spitzer resigned two weeks ago after he was implicated in an investigation of a prostitution ring.

In September, Soares issued a report saying no one in the Spitzer administration acted improperly and that there was no evidence of a plot to discredit Bruno. Two aides argued they were following orders to fulfill media requests seeking records. Spitzer disciplined them both.

But Attorney General Andrew Cuomo found two top Spitzer aides misused state police to compile records of Bruno’s use of state aircraft on days he attended Republican fundraisers and releasing them to a reporter. Soares recently returned to the case, however, and further investigated Dopp’s role after a statement provided for him by Spitzer administration lawyers seemed to conflict with Dopp’s testimony to the state Public Integrity Commission, which is also investigating. Dopp was questioned by Soares during the second investigation.

Friday’s report said that at first, in May 2007, Spitzer just wanted to “monitor the situation” after Dopp said a reporter asked for Bruno’s flight records. Spitzer didn’t want “anything to interfere with the possible … conclusion of the legislative session,” Dopp was quoted as saying in Soares’ report.

But in June, when Bruno was blocking Spitzer’s initiatives in the Legislature, top Spitzer aides discussed providing the flight records to “the feds” after they read in the newspaper that Bruno was being investigated by the FBI for business dealings.

Dopp said that on June 25 or June 26, governor’s Secretary Rich Baum told him, “Eliot wants you to release the records.”

Dopp said he went into Spitzer’s office to make sure. Dopp told investigators that he told Spitzer: “Boss, you’re OK with the release of the plane records?”

“According to Dopp, the governor replied, ‘Yeah, do it,’” the Soares report said.

“Dopp asked Spitzer: ‘Are you sure?’” noting Bruno would be angry.

Dopp said Spitzer then used vulgarities to describe Bruno and ordered Dopp to “shove it up his (expletive) with a red-hot poker.”

The scandal led to gridlock in Albany and destroyed Spitzer’s once record-higher popularity.

There was no immediate comment from Spitzer’s spokeswoman, Anna Cordasco.

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