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. DICKER
May 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.