Huffpost New York

Lieutenant Governor Battle Heads To Court As GOP Challenges Richard Ravitch's Appointment

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York Gov. David Paterson says his new lieutenant governor won't immediately preside over a special Senate session because pending legal action has muddied the situation.

A judge in Nassau County issued a temporary restraining order overnight barring former Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman Richard Ravitch from taking over as lieutenant governor.

Republicans say the order blocks the Democratic governor from having Ravitch provide a tie-breaking vote in the deadlocked chamber.

Paterson says he's taking the dispute to a state appeals court in Albany on Thursday.

Appointing Ravitch was supposed to help resolve a month-long gridlock in the Senate that started when a mostly Republican faction tried to take power from the shaky Democratic majority in a June 8 coup.

But Republicans and Democratic Attorney General Andrew Cuomo have said Paterson's move is illegal.

Ravitch recently championed an MTA bailout plan and was chosen by then-Gov. Hugh Carey to help dig New York out of its 1974 fiscal crisis. He worked for President Lyndon B. Johnson 1966 as was part of the National Commission on Urban Problems.

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