2006_10_hevesitoast.jpgThe NY State Ethics Commission said that State Comtroller Alan Hevesi did violate state law by having a state driver chauffeur his wife. And now it seems that Hevesi is more likely to resign now with this finding. The ethics panel report also found that Hevesi underestimated how much he owed back for the driver and lied about his wife needing a driver because of security concerns - and that the state driver Hevesi hired wasn't even part of his security team.

What's more, the report says that Hevesi didn't let the ethics panel know that the driver, Nicholas Acquafredda, was the same one who drove Hevesi's wife while he was comptroller of NYC! One of Hevesi's current aides even questioned having Acquafredda still drive Mrs. Hevesi, saying, "Do we want this again?"

Hevesi was expected to handily win re-election this November, but this growing scandal, which was brought to attention by his Republican challenger Chris Callaghan, puts him in a precarious position. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer says his office will investigate Hevesi's actions, too, but it's unclear what can happen before election day. The Sun said one person who might be called upon to replace Hevesi is possible 2009 NYC mayoral contender, City Comptroller William Thompson.

Hevesi said he disagreed with the ethics commission's report, but continued to apologize:

"I made a mistake. I am deeply sorry. I offer no excuses. I will continue to cooperate fully with any inquiry. I ask New Yorkers for their understanding and hope they will judge me on the basis of my performance as comptroller and my 35-year record of public service.”

Hevesi also spoke to the Daily News on Sunday about his sick wife: She tried to commit suicide in 1994 due to chronic back pain, she has "endured open-heart surgery, three back operations and gall bladder surgery," and has been in the hospital since July. The Daily News says that Hevesi is scheduled to visit them today for an endorsement. The Sun offered their endorsement of Callaghan, and yesterday, the Citizens Union, a public watchdog group, said that Hevesi's credibility has been compromised and that it wouldn't endorse him (the group isn't endorsing Callaghan either because he does "not have the necessary qualifications").