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NY governor's top aide resigns over tax flap

ALBANY, N.Y.

aide's 'nonfiler syndrome' ploy leads to nonjob

Gov. David Paterson's top aide resigned Friday amid criticism over his failure to pay $300,000 in taxes on time and a questionable excuse for the lapse — "nonfiler syndrome" related to depression. Paterson accepted the resignation of Charles O'Byrne with regret. O'Byrne said clinical depression kept him from paying taxes between 2001 and 2005, before he became secretary to the governor. His problems were first made public Saturday and as he fought to keep the $178,500-a-year job, his lawyers blamed the delay on "nonfiler syndrome." One of the tax attorneys said it was a common mental health problem for professionals, but mental health and IRS officials said they never heard of it. O'Byrne is a former Jesuit priest who officiated at the wedding of John F. Kennedy Jr. and counseled the Kennedy family three years later after he died in a plane crash.

WASHINGTON

Navy to inspect 636 fighter jets

The Navy will inspect hundreds of fighter jets built by Boeing Co. after discovering "fatigue cracks" on more than a dozen aircraft. The service issued an inspection alert late Thursday for all 636 Hornet aircraft to reduce any safety risk to pilots and the planes. The attack aircraft, which have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan by the Navy and Marine Corps, cost roughly $57-million each.

Memory blocking study holds hope

Scientists have succeeded in permanently erasing frightening memories in mice, an early step toward the development of treatments for people haunted by traumas they can't forget. According to a study in the journal Neuron this week, researchers from the Medical College of Georgia and East China Normal University in Shanghai genetically manipulated the brains of mice to overproduce a key enzyme that appeared selectively to wipe memories from the animals' brains. The enzyme, calcium/calmodulin protein kinase II (CaMKII) also is present in humans, making it a possible target for a drug to treat post-traumatic stress syndrome and other psychological disorders, scientists said.

Elsewhere

Connecticut: Three school buses carrying 79 middle school students on a class trip collided in a chain-reaction crash Friday in western Connecticut, injuring 19 children, none seriously.

Georgia: A federal appeals court gave a late reprieve Friday to Troy Davis, 40, who was set to be executed in the 1989 killing of an off-duty police officer in a case in which several witnesses have changed their accounts of the crime. Davis' supporters, including former President Jimmy Carter, have called for a new trial.

Illinois: Donald McGuire, 78, a prominent former Roman Catholic priest, was convicted in Chicago of taking a boy on religious retreats to have sex with him. The federal charge involved taking a minor across state lines for sex.

Times wires

NY governor's top aide resigns over tax flap 10/24/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 4:43pm]

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