Free Darren Dopp – NY Gov Flack Takes Fall

New York Governor Eliot SpitzerAs Communications Director for newly-elected New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, left, (Democrat), Darren Dopp was hitting a high point in his career and his life.  He was by all accounts a respected PR guy who furthered Spitzer’s reign as Attorney General when he was riding roughshod over Wall Street, and he was key in Spitzer’s tremendously successful campaign for Governor.  Politicos liked him, the press liked him, State employees liked him. He played hardball PR for the prosecutorial, self-righteous, take-no-prisoners juggernaut that is Eliot Spitzer but he was the Good Flack, with high marks for integrity, and advocacy of the boss’ agenda.

“He conveyed this sense of outrage and how cool a piece of evidence was,” said Brooke A. Masters, a reporter for The Financial Times, who wrote a book titled “Spoiling for a Fight: The Rise of Eliot Spitzer” – according to New York Times 7/25/07.  “When he said, ‘This is really good’ or ‘This is really hot,’ it was,” she said.

Was Darren Dopp enticed by the dark side? Did Darren Dopp get lost in his own maze of PR fabrications? If the boss is a missionary prosecutor out to clean up Dodge, and then a Governor smiting the heretics of Albany, how aggressive do you expect the PR guy to be?

According to a report from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (Democrat) Dopp, 47, crossed an ethical line by plotting to use the State Police to gather embarrassing information about Joe Bruno (Republican), the Senate majority leader, to share with reporters. The report also said that Dopp concocted a false story about why the information had been gathered.

Spitzer, claiming shock and dismay by all of this, suspended Dopp indefinitely without pay, though the report did not find that any laws had been broken. Darren Dopp, a loyal, dedicated, hard-working consigliere has now personally felt the sting of Spitzer’s wrath. 

“I don’t know anybody who knows Darren who was not saddened by what has happened to him,” said Mario Cuomo, former Governor of New York, and father of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, “He was one of the most pleasant, most positive people in the government. He was quiet but never down.”

There is a State Ethics Committee investigation into the incident. Eliot Spitzer was excoriated, of course, by Joe Bruno. The many people he has alienated over the years are gleefully observing his troubles and not so secretly praying for his demise. But it is Darren Dopp who has fallen the hardest. He has the usual tuition fees, a mortgage, legal fees, and no income. Spitzer has not spoken to him since the report. Spitzer is claiming that this incident is teaching him humility and he has issued a raft of apologies to Joe Bruno, but he needs to apologize to Darren Dopp, and mean it. Dopp is suffering for Spitzer’s sins. The Flack is not that expendable, and loyalty is not that cheap.


  1. scratchy says:

    Loyalty only goes so far and it doesn’t pay the bills. Darren has to quickly come clean about what Spitzer and Baum knew so that he can get on with his life. His days in NYS politics are done.

  2. Mark Rose says:

    Supposedly, Darren was told by State counsel not to testify to AG Cuomo, and is ready and chomping at the bit to spill to Ethics. Can Spitzer be totally in teh dark about what happened here, or does Darren have a defense that is in itself a tall tale. I am sure we will read a ‘big’ story about all this when Darren is free to talk. Intriguing, no?

  3. downstate maven says:

    Intriguing, yes. Given the fact that pr has always been integral to Spitzer’s strategizing, I find it difficult to believe that Spitzer didn’t know. Dopp can always write a book – “All the Governor’s Men” or “Baum of Gilead” might be good working titles:)

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