Governor Paterson`s joke, below, that because he can`t see very well, he wouldn`t know who was a minority is an old one. It`s also obviously not true.
Paterson`s whole career is based on being a Democratic minority politician, and if he can`t tell what color someone is by their accent
or their name
, (the fired photographer
was Joseph Maioriello, his replacement was El-Wise Noisette) he`ll ask.
PATERSON BURNED BY A RACIAL `FIRE`By FREDRIC U. DICKERMay 1, 2009 —ALBANY — Gov. Paterson, who raised state taxes by $8 billion last month, just cost state taxpayers $300,000 more.The state has secretly settled an embarrassing federal racial-discrimination lawsuit, The Post has learned. The suit accused Paterson, back when he was Senate minority leader in 2003, of firing a white Senate photographer in order to replace him with an African-American.The lawsuit had been scheduled to go to trial in federal court Monday in Syracuse, with Paterson, the state`s first black governor, as a key witness. The case was settled earlier in the week, although a few glitches delayed the final deal until yesterday, legislative sources said.The settlement ends a civil-rights action first filed in 2005 by Joseph Maioriello, 56, of Schenectady, a 26-year Senate employee who originally sought $1.5 million.He was fired from his $34,000-a-year job as a photographer two years earlier and replaced by a black employee, El-Wise Noisette. The shakeup happened after Paterson ousted then-Sen. Martin Connor (D-Brooklyn) as the minority leader...In the lawsuit, Maioriello claimed he was told by John McPadden, then Paterson`s chief of staff, that he was being fired because a number of minority senators wanted to replace him with "a minority photographer, a black photographer."He said he was also told, "You got to remember who Sen. Paterson is. Sen. Paterson is black."Paterson, who is legally blind, claimed in a sworn deposition that he didn`t see well enough to have fired Maioriello because of his race.