The city’s oldest good-government group, Citizens Union, wants Alan Hevesi to resign.
I spoke to CU Executive Director Dick Dadey earlier today. Here’s what he said, taking into account Hevesi’s belated decision to debate his opponent:
“I think it’s great that a much-needed debate is finally taking. It will not change our decision.
“These ethical issues are going to overshadow anything else that should be part of the debate…they go to the core of who is best suited to be the public watchdog against fraud and abuse. You can have all the accomplishments behind you, but if you’re not scrupulous about how you conduct yourself in office, it raises a lot of questions.”
This hard-line position should make CU’s annual fund-raiser at the Waldorf Astoria tonight more interesting than usual. (Expected guests include the mayor and Council Speaker Christine Quinn.)
A statement from CU is after the jump.
— Azi Paybarah
UPDATE: Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno also wants Hevesi to <a href=”And so does the Senate Majority Leader, Joe Bruno step down.
The chair of Citizens Union Richard J. Davis and executive director Dick Dadey:
Yesterday’s State Ethics Commission report involving State Comptroller Alan Hevesi confirmed concerns that Citizens Union recently expressed when it declined to support his re-election.
Unless the Comptroller can promptly present persuasive evidence demonstrating that the Ethics Commission’s factual conclusions are incorrect, Citizens Union believes his actions are so inconsistent with one of the fundamental responsibilities of the Comptroller – being the watchdog over the use of taxpayer dollars – that he should resign his position.
We take this position reluctantly because he has in so many ways been an effective Comptroller, but believe his resigning is the right thing to do.
For more than a century, Citizens Union of the City of New York has been an independent, non partisan force dedicated to promoting good government and political reform in the city and state of New York, serving as a watchdog for the public interest and an advocate for the common good. Citizens Union was founded to address the corruption of Tammany Hall in the affairs of City of New York. As part of its non-partisan work, Citizens Union has evaluated and preferred candidates for elected office since 1910.