Former MTA head Richard Ravitch can serve as Lieutenant Governor while fighting continues on the legality of his appointment, an appellate panel ruled Thursday.
But in a small setback for Governor David Paterson, his deputy can't preside over the State Senate -- one of a lieutenant governor's regular duties.
Lawyers for both Paterson and state senators had appeared Thursday morning before a panel of appellate justices weighing the case.
It came after Senate Republicans and their former ally Pedro Espada sued Paterson after Ravitch's July 8th appointment, claiming the move violated the state constitution.
In a statement, the governor's office says, "We are pleased that Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch can continue to serve alongside Governor Paterson to help navigate the State through this historic economic crisis. Thanks to today's decision by the Appellate Division, Second Department, Lieutenant Governor Ravitch will continue to play a critical role in the development of the State's Economic and Fiscal Recovery Plan, which will eliminate the current-year budget deficit and improve the State's long-term fiscal health."
Last week, a state supreme court justice decided in their favor. But an appellate justice later allowed Ravitch to serve while the case is appealed. Thursday's ruling allows that to continue.
The appeals case is expected to be argued next month.