ALBANY, N.Y. — A spokesman for the New York courts system who made $172,000 last year was abruptly fired Thursday after he accidentally called a reporter and was heard telling others that “I barely show up to work.”
David Bookstaver, the longtime communications director for the Office of Court Administration, appeared to be sidelined last year when then-Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore was tapped as New York's chief judge and she brought along her spokesman, Lucian Chalfan.
The New York Post reported Wednesday that the paper was questioning Bookstaver about his job responsibilities and he later "butt-dialed" a reporter and "unwittingly left a four-minute voicemail while chatting with at least two other people."
“I spoke to (the reporter) on the record for a while. I said, ‘I’m in a much less visible position; that doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything,’ ” Bookstaver said, according to the Post. “But, frankly, look, the bottom line: The story’s true. I’m not doing anything. I barely show up to work and I’ve been caught.”
The comments from Bookstaver, who was set to retire in October, led to his termination Thursday, the court system said in a statement.
"New Yorkers look to their court system for excellence and accountability, and we will always act to apply those standards to all of our employees all across New York state," the statement said. "While there are occasional abuses of office, we take those abuses extremely seriously and whenever we learn about them we will always act to hold the offenders accountable."
There was no immediate comment from Bookstaver about his ouster.
Joseph Spector is chief to the Gannett Albany (N.Y.) Bureau