US - Former New York state comptroller Alan Hevesi is to be sentenced today for his role in a pay-to-play scandal while overseeing the $124.8bn New York State Common Retirement Fund.
Hevesi (pictured) admitted to a second-degree charge of receiving reward for official misconduct in October and became the highest- ranking official convicted in a three-year investigation by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. (Global Pensions: 08 October 2010)
The 71-year-old could face up to four years in prison or walk away a free man after co-operating with Cuomo's investigation.
As part of his guilty plea, Hevesi admitted he accepted nearly $1m in gifts - including $75,000 in travel expenses - from his friend Elliott Broidy, a principal of Markstone Capital Partners, as a reward for giving preferential treatment to their investment proposal.
Hevesi improperly favoured and ultimately approved $250m in pension fund investments to Markstone, resulting in the fund paying $18m in management fees to the company.
The sentencing was delayed after the judge who accepted Hevesi's guilty plea transferred the case to another judge after refusing to withdraw because of an alleged conflict of interest.
State Supreme Court Justice Lewis Bart Stone denied a motion requesting his withdrawal over the accusation of a conflict involving a relationship with the parents of Hevesi's lawyer. He said instead he would turn the case over to an administrative judge for sentencing or reassignment. (Global Pensions: 29 March 2011)
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As a hectic 2018 draws to an end, Jonathan Stapleton wishes readers a quieter 2019.