Hevesi Sentenced – February 9, 2007 – The New York Sun

Nice! Please keep in mind that the Democrat Party is the party of transparency and government reform.

Hevesi Sentenced – February 9, 2007 – The New York Sun
Hevesi Sentenced

By MARK JOHNSON
Associated Press
February 9, 2007 posted 11:55 am EST
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Former New York state Comptroller Alan Hevesi was sentenced Friday to pay a $5,000 fine but received no jail time or probation for bilking the government by using state employees as drivers and personal assistants for his wife.

In December, Hevesi pleaded guilty to a felony charge of defrauding the government, which carries a maximum penalty of 1 1/3 to four years in prison.

In agreeing to the guilty plea, Hevesi resigned from office and had to submit a DNA sample for the state’s criminal databank. He has repaid the state more than $200,000 for use of the employees.

After the sentencing, Hevesi gave his successor, Democrat Thomas DiNapoli, a vote of confidence.

“I think Tom will be excellent,” Hevesi said.

The 66-year-old Queens Democrat appeared in Albany County Court nearly two months after he resigned amid the scandal that broke during his successful re-election campaign.

Judge Stephen Herrick told Hevesi that his actions were “totally unacceptable” and led to his becoming “a symbol, an icon” for government reform in Albany.

“Your fall from grace has been total and from a very great height,” Herrick said. It was “your ongoing, flagrant violation of the rules of ethics that have caused you to be removed from your position.”

Before being sentenced, Hevesi apologized to his family, his former staff and the people of New York state for his actions.

“I’m culpable. I’m responsible. I apologize,” Hevesi told the judge.

On Wednesday, the state Legislature filled the vacancy created by Hevesi’s resignation by appointing DiNapoli to the $151,500-a-year position. The move angered Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who said the Legislature’s rejection of three finalists chosen for the job by a panel of former state and New York City comptrollers showed “a stunning lack of integrity that is deeply troubling.”

Hevesi’s resignation and guilty plea ended a political career that included 22 years in the state Assembly, eight years as New York City comptroller and four years as state comptroller.

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