Depressed? Pay your taxes later..

Discussion in 'Politics' started by nutmeg, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. Gov. David Paterson has full confidence in his chief of staff who repaid more than $200,000 in back taxes dating to 2005 that the aide said he had neglected to pay because he was clinically depressed, the governor's spokeswoman said Saturday.

    Chief of Staff Charles J. O'Byrne, - a former Jesuit priest who officiated at the wedding and funeral of John F. Kennedy Jr. - didn't pay state and federal taxes from 2001 to 2005. Part of that time, O'Byrne was on the state payroll. He now is paid $178,500 as the Democratic governor's powerful top aide.

    O'Byrne used personal lines of credit, liquidated some assets and received help from friends and relatives to pay off the debt, said Risa Heller, Paterson's communications, director.

    The details about O'Byrne's tax debt - first reported by the New York Post and Albany Times Union - emerged as Paterson is calling for state spending cuts because of billions of dollars in deficits and cracking down on people and businesses owing back taxes.

    "The governor considers this a part of Charles' past for which he has taken full responsibility and all appropriate steps to remedy the situation," Heller said. Paterson has known about O'Byrne's health history and tax delinquencies since he hired him in 2004, she said.

    "The governor considers Charles to be an outstanding public servant and has full confidence in him," Heller said.

    O'Byrne said the problem is in his past and he has paid penalties for late payment.

    "During several periods in my life I have suffered from clinical depression," O'Byrne said in a statement released Saturday. "As those who suffer from this disease understand, I became neglectful of certain responsibilities in my personal life. Specifically, I failed to file and pay my state and federal taxes from 2001-2005.

    "Since that time," O'Byrne stated, "I have paid all taxes and any related penalties and interest in full. As soon as I became an employee of the state, I shared both my health history and these delinquencies with then Senate Minority Leader David A. Paterson. This is a part of my past for which I take full responsibility."

    Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos declined to comment Saturday, said his spokesman, Mark Hansen.

    Paterson hired O'Byrne as a speechwriter in 2004, when the Democrat was state Senate minority leader. Paterson told the Post that he learned the details about O'Byrne's taxes in 2006, when O'Byrne underwent a background probe in preparation for Paterson's run for lieutenant governor.

    The $200,000 sum included $151,000 to the IRS and $56,000 in state taxes, including various penalties and interest, according to the Post.

    The Albany Times Union reported that O'Byrne was served with three state tax warrants in the past year and a half, totaling $54,122 with interest and penalties, and that he has paid off two of the warrants. He still has an outstanding warrant for $11,499.71, according to the Department of State, but Heller said Saturday that has also been paid.

    O'Byrne reportedly did not file state or federal returns for five years, from 2001 to 2005. He worked for the state part of that time.

    The Kennedy family has served as his benefactor since he attended law school with President John Kennedy's nephew, Stephen Smith Jr.

    The openly gay Manhattan native left the Jesuits to write "Going My Way," his still-unpublished memoir about sexual confusion and repression in the Roman Catholic Church. He also wrote a 2002 article for Playboy magazine about what he said was pervasive sex and hypocrisy in the church.

    O'Byrne, who left a career in corporate law for the priesthood, has done legal work for nonprofits and personal investment funds and annuities. He also was a speechwriter for Howard Dean's presidential campaign in 2004.

    The tax warrants were filed in New York City, where O'Byrne lives.
  2. He has paid all penalties and interest.

    Depression is very real.

    You are maybe being a little too judgmental, harsh, and lacking compassion?
  3. Am I expecting too much for someone, anyone to be hired by the state to be a delinquent taxpayer?

    What are the liabilities of hiring someone diagnosed as clinically depressed?

    178k a year?
  4. I second that.
    Depression is a VERY serious illness. you're being heartless
  5. Oh cry me a friggin' river. As someone who has attended three Jesuit institutions I'm inclined to feel for the guy but his excuse is an EXPLOITATION of his alleged illness. He's a homosexual lawyer who worked for Howard Dean. Crucify him......
  6. it's not easy being a homosexual. you get fucked in the ass every now and then. I'm more inclined to feel for him (kinda)