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Paterson defends aide cited in news report

ALBANY — New York Gov. David A. Paterson is criticizing a news report about an aide who has become a close adviser despite two drug arrests in his youth and unproven reports of domestic violence.

Paterson says he hired David Johnson as a Senate intern years ago as part of an effort to help kids caught in Harlem’s crack epidemic.

A New York Times story published Wednesday says Johnson pleaded guilty to a felony of attempted drug sale and got probation.

The administration did not make Johnson available to The Associated Press for comment.

A Times spokeswoman says the newspaper’s story is accurate and fair. She won’t say whether more stories about the administration are planned.

Paterson has blamed the Times’ reporting in part for a flurry of rumors and reports in other media about supposedly wild behavior.

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