ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The top spokesman for New York Gov. David Paterson is resigning and says he can’t in good conscience continue to serve.

Communications director Peter Kauffmann is the third key person to flee Gov. David Paterson’s scandal-marred administration in two weeks.

Kauffmann says he cannot continue in the administration plagued by the scandals that threaten the jobs of Paterson and those he directed.

His testimony and e-mails were critical in a state charge that Paterson illegally obtained World Series tickets and lied about it.

Paterson is also being investigated over contact with a woman who had accused a top aide of domestic violence.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A senior state Democrat tells The Associated Press that black party leaders in Gov. David Paterson’s New York City neighborhood hope to craft a “message calling for the governor to resign.”

The Democrat briefed on the meeting planned for Thursday night spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Black leaders at the meeting in Harlem could play a large role in the fate of New York’s first black governor.

A black Democratic adviser who also spoke on condition of anonymity says the Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to say he’s rethinking his support for Paterson.

Paterson is being investigated over contact with a woman who had accused a top aide of domestic violence. He also faces ethics charges over free New York Yankees tickets.

Paterson says he is innocent and won’t quit. His office didn’t respond to requests for comment.

MSNBC’S TAMRON HALL REPORTS ON KAUFMANN’S RESIGNATION HERE:
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