Denise E. O'Donnell Resigns: Top Paterson Cabinet Member Resigns In Wake Of State Trooper Scandal

A top cabinet official for Governor David Paterson has resigned in the wake of reports that the governor and state troopers had inappropriate contact with the victim of a domestic violence case involving a senior Paterson aide.

Denise E. O'Donnell, the deputy secretary for Public Safety, announced her resignation at 2 pm, saying that the actions of the governor and the State Police are "unacceptable regardless of their intent."

The New York Times broke the story last night that Paterson personally phoned a woman who David "DJ" Johnson allegedly attacked. The details of their conversation remain murky, but the woman did not show up in court to address the case the following day.

The article also alleges that state troopers visited the woman at her home and discussed the case with her despite having no official business doing so.

According to the Times,

Ms. O'Donnell wrote that she found the breach "particularly distressing" in an administration "that prides itself on its record of combating domestic violence.

"The behavior alleged here is the antithesis of what many of us have spent our entire careers working to build," she added, "a legal system that protects victims of domestic violence and brings offenders to justice."

Despite calling for an investigation into the matter -- by his probable Democratic primary rival Andrew Cuomo, no less -- Paterson is viewed by many as dead in the water.

Earlier today prominent Long Island congressman Steve Israel (D) called for Paterson to bow out of the upcoming election.