Former NY State Comptroller Alan Hevesi pleaded guilty to the felony charge related to his part in a pay-to-play kickback scheme where he gave investment firms a chance to manage the billions in NY's pension fund in return for favors for his family, friends and associates. He may face jail time, but guess what: He still gets his tax-free comptroller pension of $106,000/year, plus a tax-free $62,000/year pension for being a former CUNY professor.
Hevesi admitted in court to accepting six trips for his family plus $500,000 in campaign donations from venture capitalist Elliott Broidy. In return, Broidy got $250 million of state pension fund dollars. The Post adds, "Broidy also arranged for a lobbyist -- identified by sources as Frank Sanzillo, whose brother worked for Hevesi -- to receive $380,000 in bogus consulting fees from Hevesi's office." Broidy pleaded guilty last year.
The NY Times looked at the plea through a depressing lens of Albany's dysfunction:
In some ways, the day was also a fitting coda to four extraordinary years of corruption spanning a single statewide election cycle.
In December 2006, just after his re-election, Mr. Hevesi pleaded guilty to a felony and resigned after admitting he had used state workers to chauffeur his ailing wife.
His guilty plea, shocking as it was at the time because of Mr. Hevesi’s previously robust reputation as a state assemblyman, city comptroller and state comptroller, was only the first domino to fall in a remarkable tumult of scandal: the resignation of Gov. Eliot Spitzer; the federal prosecution of Joseph L. Bruno, the former Senate majority leader; and many investigations encircling the current Senate majority leader, Pedro Espada Jr., and the current governor, David A. Paterson, among other officials.
Sigh, doesn't it feel like we need to powerwash the state?