Image: David Paterson
Mike Groll  /  ASSOCIATED PRESS
New York Gov. David Paterson says he did not try to persuade a woman to drop a domestic violence complaint aganist one of his aides, in his first public denial of the accusation Wednesday.
updated 3/17/2010 3:21:51 PM ET 2010-03-17T19:21:51

The press secretary for New York Governor David Paterson resigned on Wednesday amid ethics probes of her boss that have triggered the departures of other top aides.

The Democratic governor's office confirmed that Marissa Shorenstein had resigned as press secretary and issued a statement naming Morgan Hook her replacement.

"Mr. Hook's appointment is effective immediately," said the statement, which did not mention Shorenstein by name.

Hook has worked in the governor's press office since 2008.

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The governor is the subject of three probes by state and federal prosecutors; whether he and the state police tried to quash domestic violence charges against a top aide, whether he unlawfully accepted World Series baseball tickets and whether he gave a company a lucrative contact for slot machines at the Aqueduct Racetrack to help a political ally.

Paterson, who became governor in 2008 after Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned due to a prostitution scandal, has lost five top aides as a result of the investigations.

Paterson has repeatedly denied speculation that he would resign, but the probes led him to drop his bid for the gubernatorial election in November.

Peter Kauffmann, the governor's communications director, resigned on March 4, citing matters of "integrity and commitment to public service."

Denise O'Donnell, the deputy secretary for public safety who oversaw the state police, resigned in late February, immediately after learning the governor and troopers had contacted the domestic violence victim.

The investigations also prompted the state police superintendent, Harry Corbitt, to retire; his successor, Pedro Perez, has also left his post.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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