New York Governor Eliot Spitzer denied he knew his aides were misusing the state police in an attempt to discredit Senate majority leader Joseph Bruno, but a poll released Monday shows the majority of New Yorkers do not believe him.
The Siena College Research Institute survey of 620 registered state voters found that 51 percent of New Yorkers who read or heard about the Choppergate scandal think Spitzer was aware of what his aides were doing. Only 28 percent said they do not think so.
Siena's poll shows 59 percent of New Yorkers favor Spitzer's working performance, down from 64 percent in June and 75 percent in January.
The survey was conducted between Tuesday and Sunday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
A report made by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo concluded that the governor's staff had broken no laws but misused state police to compile travel records on days Bruno used state helicopters to New York City to mix state business with Republican fundraisers, then released the records to a local newspaper.
Spitzer has apologized, immediately suspended one aide without pay and transferred another out of the executive chamber, and turned over records to the state Ethics Commission that is investigating the political plot.
"We made mistakes," Spitzer wrote in an opinion piece in The New York Times on Sunday. "The message was simple: even though they didn't break the law, they forgot what we were about, and that won't be tolerated."
The Ethics Commission also asked Cuomo to turn over the records he used in the report released a week ago on the scandal.