Sunday, June 13, 2010

Disgraced Pol Alan Hevesi, Aide Held Pension Talks, AG Andrew Cuomo Says by Kenneth Lovett - NY Daily News

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Disgraced former Controller Alan Hevesi. DelMundo for News

Disgraced ex-Controller Alan Hevesi met regularly to discuss pension fund business with his top political consultant - a key figure in the pay-to-play scandal.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo charged in court papers Thursday that Hank Morris was "intimately involved in the day-to-day business" of the pension fund.

Hevesi has not been charged in the scandal, though Cuomo has repeatedly said the investigation is ongoing.

Cuomo contends Morris received kickbacks from investment companies - as much as $19 million - in exchange for securing pension fund business.

Morris, in his legal filings, doesn't deny using his connections to get pension fund business. He argues it may have been unethical, but insists it's commonplace in Albany - and legal.

Cuomo disagrees.

Hevesi's lawyer Brad Simon said his client "from time to time" met with Morris in his role as campaign manager. They discussed how to use the pension fund's performance as a campaign issue, he said.

"Alan Hevesi had no knowledge that Hank Morris was acting as a placement agent and personally benefiting in that capacity," Simon said.

Cuomo also charges that a Hevesi staffer gave the names of investors seeking pension fund business to Morris so he could solicit campaign donations.