New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday nominated his predecessor, David Paterson, for the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, subject to Senate approval.
“Gov. Paterson’s energy, expertise and experience will benefit the millions of New Yorkers who rely on the MTA every day,” Cuomo said in a statement.
MTA chairman Joseph Lhota supported the nomination.
“This is an inspired appointment by Gov. Cuomo since it provides a way to draw upon David Paterson’s knowledge and deep concern for the future of New York,” Mitchell Moss, director of New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation, said in a statement. Moss served on Cuomo’s search committee that helped choose Lhota, who replaced Jay Walder last fall.
Walder was a Paterson hire.
Paterson became New York’s first African-American and first legally blind governor in 2008, taking over after Eliot Spitzer resigned amid a sex scandal. Paterson served for two years and did not seek re-election in 2010, when fellow Democrat Cuomo won election.
While Paterson was governor, the state created a payroll tax on businesses and schools that helped fund the MTA. Cuomo last year approved a partial repeal of the tax.
In 2010, Paterson paid a $62,125 fine to the state Commission on Public Integrity for accepting free the tickets to New York Yankees World Series games the previous year, then attempting to cover it up under oath.
Since leaving office, Paterson has hosted a talk show on radio station WOR-AM and has taught at NYU. He will fill the vacancy created by the departure of Nancy Shevell, who resigned in January after her marriage to musician Paul McCartney.
Previously, Paterson served in the state Senate for 22 years, becoming Senate minority leader in 2003 and lieutenant governor in 2006, running on a ticket with Spitzer. Paterson is the son of longtime Harlem political leader Basil Paterson.
The 23-member board has one more vacancy to fill. Patrick Foye resigned from the board last year to become executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano will recommend Foye’s replacement.
The MTA’s board will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday.