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Governor David Paterson Settles Suit By Photographer Who Was Fired Because He Was White
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May 01, 2009, 06:11 PM
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Governor Paterson`s joke, below, that because he can`t see very well, he wouldn`t know who was a minority is an old one. It`s also obviously not true.

Paterson`s whole career is based on being a Democratic minority politician, and if he can`t tell what color someone is by their accent or their name, (the fired photographer was Joseph Maioriello, his replacement was El-Wise Noisette) he`ll ask.

PATERSON BURNED BY A RACIAL `FIRE`

By FREDRIC U. DICKER

May 1, 2009 —

ALBANY — Gov. Paterson, who raised state taxes by $8 billion last month, just cost state taxpayers $300,000 more.

The state has secretly settled an embarrassing federal racial-discrimination lawsuit, The Post has learned. The suit accused Paterson, back when he was Senate minority leader in 2003, of firing a white Senate photographer in order to replace him with an African-American.

The lawsuit had been scheduled to go to trial in federal court Monday in Syracuse, with Paterson, the state`s first black governor, as a key witness. The case was settled earlier in the week, although a few glitches delayed the final deal until yesterday, legislative sources said.

The settlement ends a civil-rights action first filed in 2005 by Joseph Maioriello, 56, of Schenectady, a 26-year Senate employee who originally sought $1.5 million.

He was fired from his $34,000-a-year job as a photographer two years earlier and replaced by a black employee, El-Wise Noisette. The shakeup happened after Paterson ousted then-Sen. Martin Connor (D-Brooklyn) as the minority leader...

In the lawsuit, Maioriello claimed he was told by John McPadden, then Paterson`s chief of staff, that he was being fired because a number of minority senators wanted to replace him with "a minority photographer, a black photographer."

He said he was also told, "You got to remember who Sen. Paterson is. Sen. Paterson is black."

Paterson, who is legally blind, claimed in a sworn deposition that he didn`t see well enough to have fired Maioriello because of his race.