A Tale of Two Comptrollers
October 7th, 2010

One comptroller’s big loss came with another’s gain today.

Allan Hevesi, of course, ranks as the day’s big loser. The former city and state comptroller has pleaded guilty to felonies related to his steering a quarter of a billion in state pension money to an investment firm that gave him lavish overseas trips and contributed to his campaigns.

“Hevesi acknowledged receiving nearly $1 million in gifts in exchange for improperly favoring and approving a $250 million investment in Markstone Capital Partners, L.P. from the New York State Common Retirement Fund,” a statement from the office of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said.

Hevesi, who was released on his own recognizance, faces up to four years in prison.

But the bad news for Hevesi came with good news for his successor: current State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. DiNapoli, who is running to win election to the post he has held since being appointed in 2006, has been dogged by charges and rumors that Cuomo’s long-running probe of skullduggery at the pension fund could reach him. Today though Cuomo gave DiNapoli a clean bill of health. (For the record, although both men are Democrats — and although DiNapoli backs Cuomo — Cuomo has not yet endorsed DiNapoli.)

The statement after the jump.

“We have received numerous inquiries from the media asking about the status of current New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli,” a subsequent statement from Cuomo’s press office said. During the investigation, the office reviewed an investment known as Intermedia, which was approved for investment under then-New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi and increased under Comptroller DiNapoli. The office has concluded our review of that investment and determined that no action is warranted. Mr. DiNapoli is not involved in any investigation or matter in this office.”

That statement will no doubt put a bit of a damper on the campaign of DiNapoli’s rival, Republican Harry Wilson. Wilson has repeatedly tied DiNapoli to the Hevesi probe. At their debate on Monday, for example, Wilson described DiNapoli as “a career politician who is ensnared in an investigation.” In another of many such references, Wilson said, “I’m happy to talk about my record and the investigation Mr. DiNapoli is under.”

Well, he still has his record.

By on October 7, 2010, 2:19 pm
In category: Albany,Crime & Safety,Electoral Politics,Eye on Albany,Governing,Public Finance | Comments Off on A Tale of Two Comptrollers

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