Disgraced former State Comptroller Alan Hevesi is up for parole release this week. Let me say right now that it would be a proverbial miscarriage of justice if the Parole Board releases Hevesi after only 18 months of time served. Given the time that Hevesi should have faced, the least that justice requires is that he serve the full amount of his sentence.
Let’s review. When Cuomo was Attorney General, he uncovered sprawling corruption throughout the Comptroller’s office. Cuomo’s investigation showed that about a dozen major private equity firms knowingly engaged in a pay-to-play scheme to get investments from the State Pension Fund. In a nutshell, Hevesi and his top officials (Hank Morris, David Loglisci) extracted millions in placement fees, gifts, campaign contributions and other benefits in exchange for placing hundreds of millions in state pension funds with those firms. Here’s a helpful “rap sheet” outlining the key participants.
Notwithstanding his position at the top (er, bottom?) of this cesspool of corruption, Hevesi was permitted to plead guilty to a single count of second-degree charge of receiving reward for official misconduct, and is currently serving a prison term of 1 to 4 years after pleading guilty in 2010 to pocketing $1m in gifts and campaign contributions from California businessman, Elliott Broidy, in exchange for placing a $250 million state investment with Broidy’s firm Markstone Capital Partners.
Significantly, Hevesi also admitted that he knew that his political advisor, Hank Morris, personally had reaped tens of millions in illegal placement fees by setting himself up as a middleman (i.e., a “placement agent”) between the State’s pension fund and private firms seeking investments from the fund.
Let’s be clear. This isn’t your typical case of petty political corruption in New York (see Espada, Pedro). Hevesi not only sold his office for personal and political benefit, but sat by and watched Hank Morris — who had no official position at the Comptroller’s Office — also pimp the office out to the highest bidder. Even Hevesi’s Chief Investment Officer, David Loglisci, was in on the scandal. In at least one instance, Loglisci placed an investment with Steve Rattner’s firm Quadrangle in exchange for some financing for his brother’s shitty film “Chooch.” Never heard of it? You’re not alone.
So, to recap, Hevesi, Morris and Loglisci engaged in wholesale political corruption that spanned years and involved over a billion dollars of state investments and millions of dollars that went directly into their pockets. Nail ’em to a cross, right? Wrong. Hevesi and Morris were each permitted to plead guilty to a single charge and got off with sentences of 1-4 years. Loglisci never went to jail. What’s wrong with this picture?
For what it’s worth (hopefully not much!) nine people have written letters supporting his release, with only one letter opposing. Unfortunately, those letters are confidential, so we don’t know who wrote them or what they say.
The New York Post has not written a letter, opting instead to make it’s editorial opinion known in this piece, headlined: Keep Alan On Ice.