Seeking to avoid a civil penalty of up to $40,000, Gov. David Paterson’s embattled top aide Charles Oâ€™Byrne today quietly updated his ethics disclosure form to reveal he owed back taxes to state and federal governments.
Updated: The New York Post says he’s going to be fired this afternoon.
Oâ€™Byrne’s attorneys disclosed this week that he owed nearly $300,000 in back taxes, but didn’t list the debt on his disclosure forms to the state Commission on Public Integrity.
Not doing so can carry up to a $40,000 if it was deemed that he “knowingly and willfully” didn’t list all his liabilities, said Walter Ayres, spokesman for the state Commission on Public Integrity.
O’Byrne would have had 15 days after being notified of the omission to correct the report, which he did on his 2006 report today. It’s unclear whether the report he filed in 2007 is also expected to be updated.
Ayres said the commission has only received an addendum for the 2006 report, which O’Byrne filed last year.
Earlier this week Paterson said executive chamber lawyers have questioned whether the overdue taxes needed to be listed on the forms. Paterson said the laws may need clarification.
The disclosure forms list debt owed to family and friends, which lawyers said that O’Byrne received loans from to pay off his debt, including between $60,000 and $100,000 from John F. Kennedy’s younger sister Jean Kennedy Smith.