From the Times Ledger:
Long before disgraced former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi was charged in October for his role in a pay-to-play scandal involving the state pension fund under his watch, a little-known treasurer of Saratoga County, J. Christopher Callaghan, knew something was up — and it was in plain sight.
Callaghan, who ran on the Republican line against Hevesi in 2006, said a New York Sun editorial from May of that year pointed out how Hevesi had large contributions donated to him through the wife of Elliott Broidy, the head of the California-based Markstone Capital Partners, and Hevesi invested $250 million of the state’s pension funds into the hedge fund.
The Sun editorial credited the Los Angeles Times with first running a story about Hevesi’s connection to Broidy.
In a phone interview Monday, more than a week after Hevesi was sentenced to one to four years in prison on corruption charges, Callaghan said he pounced on the revelation but nobody noticed.
“To me, that’s one of the great ironies here,” Callaghan said. “This particular incident ... was in print as early as early 2006. It just didn’t seem to be of interest. We released press releases. It’s not like we had any secret information. Everything we knew about Markstone had been published in the newspaper.”
From the NY Post:
This doesn't seem fair: Not only do state taxpayers have to pay disgraced ex- Comptroller Alan Hevesi's room and board for the next 1-to-4 years -- they've still got to pay his pension, too.
That is, even as the twice-convicted felon pockets pennies a day for stamping license plates upstate, he'll still be drawing a whopping $105,000-a-year payout.
Which is why it's such good news that Gov. Cuomo unveiled a bill Tuesday to end the practice.
"It is long past time that we learned the lessons of the Hevesi case and made permanent changes to our system that will stop [such] corruption," Cuomo said.
Nearly a dozen convicted former lawmakers are in the same circumstance, netting big checks while behind bars.
And even if alleged criminals like state Sen. Carl Kruger and former Sen. Pedro Espada are convicted by juries of their peers, those same peers will still have to pay taxes to support their retirement.
Their pensions are protected by the state Constitution -- so only newly elected officials will be subject to the law Cuomo proposes.
What better reason, then, to pass it quickly?