ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Thursday he has recused himself and appointed an independent counsel to probe whether Gov. David Paterson illegally took World Series tickets or had improper contact with a woman who accused an aide of domestic violence.

He appointed former state Chief Judge Judith Kaye to the case.

Cuomo, who is widely expected to run for governor, had been criticized for investigating Paterson’s role in the case in which a woman accused a trusted Paterson adviser of roughing her up. Some said a Cuomo probe would be a conflict of interest.

Last October, Sherr-una Booker accused Paterson confidante David Johnson of choking her, tearing off her Halloween costume and shoving her against a mirror. She filed a domestic violence complaint but never filed criminal charges.

Paterson has acknowledged that he, two staff members and a member of his state police security detail all talked to Booker before a scheduled family court hearing. He has said Booker called him and he only offered support but did not try to get her to drop her complaint or change her story.

Booker did not show up for the hearing and the domestic violence complaint was dropped.

Last week, a public integrity commission accused Paterson of violating state ethics laws when he sought and obtained free Yankees tickets for the 2009 World Series and then may have lied about his intention to pay for them.

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