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Former Paterson aide charged with assault

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • David Johnson will be arraigned Thursday
  • The alleged attack led to cover-up allegations against Gov. David Paterson
  • Judge recommended charges against Johnson but not Paterson

New York (CNN) -- A former aide to New York Gov. David Paterson, whose alleged attack on a former girlfriend led to cover-up allegations against the governor, has been charged with assault, authorities said Thursday.

The charges against David Johnson relate to the October 2009 non-fatal incident during which Johnson allegedly choked his girlfriend.

Johnson will be arraigned Thursday, according to Steven Reed, a spokesman for the Bronx District Attorney's Office.

In July, a retired judge tasked by the New York Attorney General to investigate the incident and its alleged cover-up recommended charges against Johnson, but not Paterson. The report from Judge Judith Kaye said Paterson was guilty of "errors of judgment" and made some mistakes in handling the October 31 incident but committed no crime.

Kaye cited repeated instances in which Paterson contacted the woman, including after he referred the case to the state attorney general.

"Regardless of any good faith reasons on the part of the governor for contacts that he initiated, these were errors of judgment," Kaye wrote.

However, Kaye said her investigation showed that evidence in the case "warrants consideration of possible charges against David Johnson relating to the October 31 domestic incident."

The state attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, appointed Kaye as independent counsel in the case to avoid any potential conflict with his own plans to run for governor.

CNN's Mark Norman contributed to this report.