ALBANY—The Commission on Public Integrity has fined Darren Dopp, Eliot Spitzer's former communications director, $10,000 for "knowingly and intentionally using his official position as the Governor's Communications Director to obtain an unlawful benefit" in the Troopergate affair.
Dopp, now a
lobbyist “media relations” consultant with Patricia Lynch Associates, was fined the maximum amount. In a statement, he called the ruling "unfounded, erroneous and tainted."
"This case is about Mr. Dopp, as part of a scheme to discredit a political opponent, violating the State Code of Ethics by misusing the resources of the State Police to create official-looking documents, which otherwise would not have existed, so that he could have them reproduced in a newspaper," said Commission Chairman Michael Cherkasky. "Such misconduct erodes public confidence in both the integrity and the independence of our State Police. To assess him anything less than the maximum penalty would send the wrong signal to those who might consider similar actions in the future."
The 33-page decision, authored by the embattled Commission, notes that Dopp failed to attend his hearing and his reply "widely misses the mark." Dopp contended that he acted to release public information "at the specific direction of the governor." He said it was not possible to receive a fair hearing from the commission.
Dopp said he intends to sue the Commission.