Skip to comments.Quid Pro Quo Ethics Complaint Filed Against New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli
Posted on 11/23/2012 9:42:58 AM PST by AtlasStalled
New York Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli who oversees the state's massive $153 billion pension fund is accused in an ethics complaint with acting as a public tool for plaintiffs' lawyers in their legal battle against Chevron Corporation as reported by Danny Hakin for The New York Times: "the complaint, which was made to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, claims that Mr. DiNapoli and the plaintiffs' lawyers had 'an illicit and unethical quid pro quo arrangement' in which the comptroller received campaign donations and other benefits in exchange for pressuring Chevron."
Among other things Chevron in its complaint "points to $8,000 in campaign contributions made to DiNapoli's campaign in early 2009 by four individuals connected to the lawsuit or their associates" as reported by Casey Seiler for the Albany Times Union.
DiNapoli's predecessor, Alan Hevisi, also was a supporter of the lawsuit against Chevron, and in 2010 was convicted on an unrelated matter for steering more than $250 million in pension fund business in exchange for $1 million of improper benefits including campaign contributions.
In the past both DiNapoli and Hevesi have been criticized for retaining their political donors to represent the Common Retirement Fund as a plaintiff in securities fraud class actions as previously reported by Kenneth Lovett for the Daily News: "'There is a problem with pay-to-play,' Columbia Law School Prof. John Coffee said. 'The plaintiff law firms know that to be considered to be on the list of eligible firms, they have to ante up.'"
***Columbia Law School Prof. John Coffee said. ‘The plaintiff law firms know that to be considered to be on the list of eligible firms, they have to ante up.’”***
Like it or not, that’s how business is done in New York...and Chicago for that matter.
And there’s nuttin’ you can do about it.
EXCERPT Hank Morris, a central player in a pay-to-play scheme involving the New York State pension fund, will return $19 million to the fund as part of a plea agreement approved in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Monday.
Mr. Morris, who was charged last year with a 123-count indictment, pleaded guilty to a single felony count of violating the Martin Act, a sweeping state securities law, and could be sentenced to as much as four years in prison, though no prison sentence is mandatory.
In admitting his wrongdoing in court, Mr. Morris, 57, said he worked with Alan G. Hevesi, the former state comptroller, and David Loglisci (who escaped jailtime), the funds chief investment officer, to steer pension investments to certain firms, which would earn him fees. Mr. Morris said he shared some of those fees with associates.
Mr. Morris, who was a political consultant to Mr. Hevesi, also admitted to using the pension fund for political expediency.
I sought contributions to Hevesis re-election campaign from, among others, those individuals whom I knew were doing or seeking to do business with the pension fund, Mr. Morris said in court.
Mr. Morriss guilty plea was the eighth one resulting from Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomos three-year investigation into the states $125 billion pension fund.
It came days after Mr. Cuomos office filed civil charges against the financier Steven L. Rattner, seeking $26 million in penalties for allegations that he engaged in the pension kickback scheme when he was with the Quadrangle Group, a private equity firm. Mr. Hevesi pleaded guilty last month to a felony count of receiving a reward for official misconduct. He faces sentencing on Dec. 16.
In addition to the $19 million forfeiture, Mr. Morris is banned from the securities industry in New York, may not solicit or receive investments from the state, may not hold a public position and may not enter into any contracts with the state.
Hank Morris used his influence at the New York State comptrollers office to stockpile millions in fees for himself from state pension fund investments, Mr. Cuomo, the governor-elect, said in a statement. Through his scheme, Morris personified pay-to-play corruption. With this plea, funds will be rightly restored to the State of New York, and justice will be served.
Between the guilty pleas and 19 civil settlements, the attorney generals office said it had collected $158 million to return to the pension fund.
Hevesi went to jail---and was just paroled.
Thee people have millions stored away in secret accounts. Hevesi's pal, Hank Morris, was very devious----he established offshore accounts and hid stolen pension money in various other ways.
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