Gov. David Paterson said today he admitted past marital affairs in part because he feared an “out-of-control” element in the state police that he says was investigating politicians.
The Democrat, who took office in March after the resignation of Eliot Spitzer amid a prostitution scandal, had already called for an investigation into lawmakers’ claims that a state police unit was keeping tabs on elected officials.
At that time, though, he wouldn’t say if he believed there was such a unit and the state police union said it doubted the unit existed.
But Paterson said today he knew it was operating and it prompted his extraordinary revelations that he had affairs with women years ago when his marriage was in trouble. He has since reconciled with his wife.
There was no immediate comment from state police.
“I’ll tell you something,” Paterson said during today’s installment of a series of radio interviews statewide. “That was a very serious problem and that is being investigated right now.”
He said he wouldn’t go into details of the case because it’s being investigated.
“But I will say this,” Paterson told WFAN-AM. “That was also on my mind when I made my own personal revelations. There was obviously an element in the police force and it wasn’t Republican or Democrat, it was just out of control people who had power that were clearly monitoring a lot of the elected officials and I was kind of afraid of leaks of inaccurate information about something and that was another thing that pushed me to speak.”
On April 1, Paterson asked Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate the claims.
State police spokesman Lt. Glenn Miner said today state police would cooperate fully.
Spitzer’s administration was dogged by a scandal in which top aides instructed to state police to compile — and in some cases, recreate — records tracking the travels of Spitzer’s chief political rival.