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O’Donnell resigns amid turmoil

Denise O'Donnell

Denise O

ALBANY — A member of Gov. David A. Paterson’s Cabinet resigned Thursday following a report that the governor and state police had contact with a woman who reported a domestic dispute with a top aide.

Criminal Justice Services Commissioner Denise O’Donnell said she quit because state police Superintendent Harry Corbitt had assured her his agency was not involved.

A police report discusses a confrontation between the aide, David Johnson, and a woman over a Halloween costume.

The New York Times reported Wednesday on court papers showing a phone call between state police and the woman. Paterson’s office acknowledged that he talked to the woman but that she placed the call.

A Paterson spokesman denied that anyone tried to keep the woman from pursuing a domestic violence case.

Paterson has been under pressure from fellow Democrats not to seek a full term in this fall’s election.

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