ALBANY, N.Y. - Governor David Paterson admits that he's responsible for a campaign staffer who leaked unproven personal accusations about Caroline Kennedy.

He did it after she withdrew from Senate consideration and it could lead to a state privacy investigation. The Democratic governor wouldn't name the staffer who leaked the files. He said he'll keep the consultant on his campaign payroll.

The claims surfaced just after Kennedy abruptly withdrew from Paterson's secretive selection process to fill Hillary Rodham Clinton's New York Senate seat.

The anonymous leaker said Kennedy wasn't ready for prime time and faced possible tax, nanny and marital problems.

The campaign staffer has been identified as consultant Judith Smith.

"She's still retained," Paterson said to questions about the fate of Smith, a top communications strategist. "I'm not throwing anybody under the bus."