In what is believed to be the long-rumored story involving Governor David Paterson, a report in today's New York Times says a senior administration official and close confidant to the governor has been found to have a criminal past that includes alleged violence toward women.
The paper says David Johnson, 37, who is often seen at Paterson's side, was arrested twice on felony drug charges as a teenager, including a charge of selling cocaine to an undercover police officer, and again for misdemeanor assault in the 1990s.
The Times says on three occasions Johnson was involved in disputes with women, two of which led to calls to police, including one this past October.
A source tells the paper Johnson punched a girlfriend outside Paterson's state Senate office in 2001.
A spokesman for Paterson says a background check on Johnson done in 2008 found no criminal record.
In a statement this morning, the governor accuses the Times of splashing Johnson's youthful offenses across its pages.
"The more recent allegations reported on by the Times would be extremely troubling if true – but the conclusions reached by the Times report are not supported by the facts,” Paterson said in the statement.
The article could still prove to be a headache for the governor, as he has made domestic violence one of his signature causes.