Pataki and Bruno

At a press conference having to do with a mental health bill, Governor Pataki addressed the Hevesi resignation. “I’m very concerned about the operations of the comptroller’s office…I’m concerned about the interim [before a replacement is appointed], what will happen.” The governor also said he wasn’t sure who exactly will sign the next round of state paychecks.

Pataki drew a contrast between Hevesi’s admitted wrongdoing and the allegations currently swirling around the man standing behind him, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. “I’ve said time and again: I have confidence in Senator Bruno,” the governor said. “I have confidence in the system… I expect come January 3, Senator Bruno will be the majority leader.”

The vote of confidence is notable, in that the governor’s initial statement about the case–“Hopefully, the senator has done everything right, and that will be what the conclusion is”–was read by some to be less-than-supportive. Obviously, everyone knows they’re not horseback-riding buddies.

After the press conference was done, reporters descended on Bruno. He said of the hoopla about the FBI investigation into his business practices:

“This is more of a media event, and when I indicated we were being totally cooperative, and that there was an inquiry, and that I’m letting the Feds do their work, and they’re diligent enough and I have been elected by the people, by my conference to govern. And I would appreciate the press, if they would just give me an opportunity, objectively, and fairly, to govern.”

UPDATE: To be a bit more specific, the press conference had to do with Timothy’s Law, which would require that insurance companies cover various serious mental illnesses, particularly in children. It’s a shame that got overshadowed.

Azi Paybarah