ALBANY—Comptroller Alan Hevesi's top lieutenants have been indicted on 123 counts including enterprise corruption, securities fraud, money laundering and grand larceny, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo just announced on a conference call.
"The indictment charges crimes that go beyond the grossest manifestations of pay-to-play," Cuomo said. He, along with S.E.C. Chair Mary Schapiro and Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares described an indictment which alleges Hank Morris, Hevesi's top political adviser, and David Loglisci, the Chief Investment Officer of the comptroller's office, conspired to sell access to the fund.
As Ken Lovett reports today, Morris allegedly set up shell consulting firms and pocketed $30 million in fees for himself and business partners. Under the state constitution, the comptroller is the sole trustee of the state's $122 billion pension fund.
Cuomo did not rule out action against anyone still at the comptroller's office – he was asked specifically earlier about Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who was installed after Hevesi resigned as part of a resolution to a separate criminal investigation – or any of the firms involved. Or Hevesi himself.
"It's an ongoing investigation," Cuomo repeated. "I'm not ruling anything in, I'm not ruling anything out. I don't want any inference from not ruling anyone in or anyone out."
What a week for Cuomo. He has been at the forefront of the fight against the corporate greed moment of the week, subpoenaing A.I.G. for a list of bonuses and to whom they were paid. He said he expects they will comply by the end of the day.
Cuomo was aware of the parallel.
"It's funny the confluence of events. We're doing the comptrollers case today which is coincidental, if you will, in the developments of AIG (AIG) and Merrill," he said. "It's a confluence of a lack of tru and a lack of integrity in institutions that people rely on."
Eliot Spitzer was dubbed the "Sheriff of Wall Street," and Cuomo noted "I also wanted to be the Sheriff of State Street."
He's also the people's lawyer.
Cuomo was asked if there were opportunities for reform arising from the situation, and he didn't shy from making a suggestion that the state reconsider having the comptroller as sole trustee of the pension system – New York is one of three states to do this – and to reform campaign finance laws.