Spitzer to Paterson to Bruno

031008 patersonspitzer web Spitzer to Paterson to BrunoIf Governor Spitzer is forced to resign, Lieutenant Governor David Paterson would be given the governor’s seat for the remainder of Mr. Spitzer’s term, which ends in 2010.

From the constitution:

In case of the removal of the governor from office or of his or her death or resignation, the lieutenant-governor shall become governor for the remainder of the term.

Senate majority leader Joseph Bruno, whose official title is temporary president of the Senate, would assume the duties of lieutenant governor and would be next in line for the top job, but would remain as majority leader.

In case of vacancy in the office of lieutenant-governor alone, or if the lieutenant-governor shall be impeached, absent from the state or otherwise unable to discharge the duties of office, the temporary president of the senate shall perform all the duties of lieutenant- governor during such vacancy or inability.

If the acting governor in this scenario, Paterson, were to vacate the office, Bruno would take over, with a special election to be held at the next general election.

Thanks to Bob Ward, deputy director of the Rockefeller Institute of Government, for his patient guidance.