Meet Charles O’Byrne: The Man Behind Gov. David Paterson

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New York’s new governor David Paterson might be battling through his own sexual history, but there’s one other man in his new administration to pay attention to: Charles O’Byrne. As Paterson’s secretary, the openly gay politico is the governor’s No. 2, and it’s been his job to prep David and wife Michelle for the uncomfortable rounds of questioning.

The former Jesuit priest and Howard Dean speechwriter has worked with Paterson over the past three years — and had three days to suss out the transition between embroiled Eliot Spitzer and the new gov.

Colleagues call O’Byrne a “tough guy,” someone who was always drawn to progressive politics, and someone who has a history of “butting heads with powerful institutions,” says the Times. He’s been vocal about his intolerance for “boyologist” priests who prey on their young charges, which, let’s face it, could be a problem down the road between Paterson and religious groups.

Bonus fact: O’Byrne has been quoted as estimating 70 percent of the priests in his peer group were gay.