By BRENDAN SCOTT, NY Post
ALBANY â€“ The stateâ€™s top ethics watchdog slapped Gov. Paterson with a whopping $62,000 fine this morning for accepting free World Series tickets last year from theÂ New York Yankees.
The Public Integrity Commissionâ€™s penalty â€“ the first of its kind against a sitting governor â€“ follows a months-long investigation into the Democratic governorâ€™s freebie foul initially set off by a story in The Post.
“The moral and ethical tone of any organization is set at the top,” Commission Chairman Michael Cherkasky said. “Unfortunately the Governor set a totally inappropriate tone by his dishonest and unethical conduct. Such conduct cannot be tolerated by any New York State employee, particularly our Governor.”
The $62,125 fine comes less than two weeks before Paterson is slated to handover the Executive Mansion to Attorney GeneralÂ Andrew Cuomo.
TheÂ Yankees have various interests before the state and regularly register as a lobbying entity. Itâ€™s against state law for a public official to accept gifts from a registered lobbyist.
Paterson was fined $60,000 for three violations of the state ethics law and $2,125 for the face value of the five VIP seats.
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