State Comptroller Alan Hevesi pleaded guilty to charges and resigned from office today. From the AP:
The plea ends an investigation by Albany County District Attorney David Soares, who had been presenting evidence against the Queens Democrat to a grand jury. Hevesi will serve no jail time, but will pay a $5,000 fine and agreed not to file any appeal. He also agreed not to take office on Jan. 1. Friday's agreement also heads off a process that could have ended in the Legislature removing Hevesi from office.
"Using state employees as drivers and companions for his wife" is a minor felony. Hevesi told the press, "I want to apologize to the people of New York state who have given me the opportunity to serve them. I want to apologize to the 2,400 professionals who work in the comptroller's office and I want to apologize to my family who have been so strong and loving during this process."
The NY Times mentioned that Hevesi's decision to resign was aided by "intense pressure from Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer." The Daily News detailed what will happen now that Hevesi is a felon, such as having his mugshot taking and needing to give a DNA sample; plus the news has a timeline of Hevesi's comments about the matter. The Sun reports that City Comptroller William Thompson does not want to be considered for the Comptroller gig (he's eying NYC mayor in 2009) while Bronx Borough President "emerged as a contender."
The Sun's editorial about Hevesi's resignation and the sad state of NY State politics is really good. With Bruno under FBI investigation and the revelations about the Legislature's pork barrel spending, we can only pray that Spitzer does "clean up" Albany. And here are our previous posts about Hevesi.
Photograph of Hevesi after voting in Forest Hills, Queens on November 7, 2006 by Jason DeCrow/AP