Hevesi Pleads, Politicians Pounce

The Times reported last night that former comptroller Alan Hevesi is expected to serve jail time after pleading guilty to pay-to-play scheme that was part of a long-running investigation by attorney general Andrew Cuomo. The fall-out in the political world has been fast and furious with Democrats and Republicans pouncing on the news and proclaiming that Hevesi’s prosecution strengthens their argument.

Eric Schneiderman said as A.G. he will follow in Cuomo’s footsteps, and investigate corrupt officials regardless of party, and he raised his work to expel Hiram Monserrate from the state Senate.

“Having chaired the investigation that led to the expulsion of a corrupt senator from my own party, as Attorney General I will continue Andrew Cuomo’s practice of fearlessly investigating officials who betray the people, regardless of their party, region, or background. The people of New York deserve nothing less,” Schneiderman said.

His opponent, Republican Dan Donovan reiterated his own call to create an office of pension litigation within the Investor Protection Bureau and tried to tie Schneiderman to Albany. “As a long time State Senator, Eric Schneiderman has been a part of that culture for far too long. Albany desperately needs change. New Yorkers desperately want change. And as a product of that system, State Senator Schneiderman does not represent change,” he said.

G.O.P comptroller candidate Harry Wilson may have the most to gain from Hevesi’s plea, and noted that his opponent Tom DiNapoli, who took over when Hevesi resigned, “hired several plaintiff firms which stand to make millions in class action suits and who contributed to his campaigns – the identical practice that the previous administration illicitly conducted with money managers.” He called on DiNapoli to release the names of the people he has met with since he became comptroller.

DiNapoli is having none of it, and sought to tie Hevesi to Steve Rattner, a central player in the investigation and a close friend of Wilson’s.

Said DiNapoli spokesman Eric Sumberg, “Harry Wilson wants to talk about transparency, he can start by answering questions about just why he was forced out of his last Wall Street job for making bad investments.  Wall Street Harry Wilson also needs to come clean about his relationship with Steve Rattner, who brought him onto the Auto Bailout Task Force, is guiding his campaign, and is a central figure in the Attorney General’s investigation into disgraced ex-Comptroller Alan Hevesi.”

 

dfreedlander@observer.com

 

 

Hevesi Pleads, Politicians Pounce