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Saturday, March 13, 2010

New York's Culture of Corruption

Corruption 101: required reading
The Albany Times Union - EDITORIAL - March 12, 2010

David Loglisci's account of how he allowed kickbacks to go on in the state's pension system while he was its chief investment officer should be required reading for every politician and state employee. Beyond shedding fresh light on how the pension fund was corrupted at the highest levels, the two-page statement Mr. Loglisci read in court Wednesday is a primer in political patronage, and how it can become so institutionalized that it passes for business as usual. And it's a warning that whether it's called a kickback, pay-to-play or patronage, it is not good government, and, as Mr. Loglisci now knows all too well, it could be criminal. For his role in a scheme that got him a promotion, he now faces prison. Mr. Loglisci detailed how a senior official in the Comptroller's Office told him that firms looking to handle certain investments for the $129 billion pension fund had to be cleared by Hank Morris, then-Comptroller Alan Hevesi's political adviser and campaign manager. To get the business, Mr. Loglisci said, firms had to contribute to Mr. Hevesi's campaign, or pay a "placement fee" to Mr. Morris or his associates. The use of placement fees or campaign contributions as bribes prompted an investigation by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office that has netted more than $120 million in payments from people and firms that played along. Six individuals have pleaded guilty for paying or receiving kickbacks. Mr. Morris has been indicted. Mr. Hevesi, who resigned in 2006 after his conviction in connection with personal uses of state resources, hasn't been charged so far in the pension schemes. How much damage, if any, was done to the pension fund by this corrupted investment system may never be known. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has since banned, by executive order, the use of placement agents and fees, and the awarding of investment business to donors to a comptroller or candidate for comptroller for two years following a contribution. That, and more, should, of course, be law. While the hundreds of millions of dollars at stake in this scheme make it so remarkable, the case should put politicians on notice that the spoils they may have come to view as perks of public office -- jobs for family and pals, a personal favor on the side, the award of a discretionary contract -- may end up being Exhibit A at their corruption trial. And state employees who go along with this because the boss said so should know they do so at their own peril, and that if they allow this play, they, too, may have to pay.

The issue:A former top state pension fund official admits his role in a pay-to-play scheme.
The Stakes: A culture in which political patronage is the norm encourages such abuses.
To comment: tuletters@timesunion.com

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

may end up being Exhibit A at their corruption trial. And state employees who go along with this because the boss said so should know they do so at their own peril, and that if they allow this play, they, too, may have to pay.


isn't that what the problem is, they are all doing it and we do not have a jail large enough!
It would be better if they just signed a proper Ethics Bill and we had proper agencies to investigate and our Courts were returned to the People For the People
So what, some will pick and choose who gets prosecuted!

The Time Is Come said...

Governor Paterson, direct the AG, Andrew Cuomo, to ask a court to appoint an Independent Counsel to prosecute all the law firms which had actions before the State and had at the same time contributed to Cuomo's 13 Million Dollar plus Election Trough. There would be indictments all around. They could form a "Jailed Columbian and Others Ex-Lawyers Association." Cuomo could keep his indictment paper as his heirloom memento as the first indicted AG in NY History.

Anonymous said...

that is exactly what he need to do, who care if they say he is being spiteful, the truth will come out and all their tactics!

APPOINT INDEPENDENT COUNSEL AND A FEDERAL MONITOR AND A PHONE NUMBER FOR THE CITIZENS TO CALL.......

LET US CREATE CHAOS, JUST RETURNING THE FAVOR!

Anonymous said...

Send the tapes of Sampson's hearings to the Governor and ask him to jail all who have not requested a proper Federal Investigation, MISPRISION OF A FELONY and/or whose consulting fees have risen, double jail time...they won't balance the budget, they will not stop hiring people or giving them raises or taking consulting fees......
JAIL........

Anonymous said...

while they are in jail, I do not believe they are entitled to their paychecks..........
we just balanced the budget!

Anonymous said...

Pay to play, that's what it's all about! What was Alan's cut and how much did Sheldon get - did anyone else get a piece of the action???

Anonymous said...

with the feds no where to be found in ny recently and all the inaction occurring, articles like this should be looked at seriously

did anyone look at this website on the previous blog, although it sounds like a conspiracy, it would explain why my FBI and DOJ have the wrong information on me, and why they have not investigated, try and file a complaint at those agencies, you are not allowed!someone is giving them the wrong information to faslely & selectively persecute me
to deny every right a person has....does anyone think the Phoenix project is a gov't run operation?

Anonymous said...

Hey Frank Brady,
Thomas DiNapoli just took down a judge, well he stepped down, kind of,Surrogate Court Issues, maybe he will look into Lippman & Ramos!

Anonymous said...

part of DiNapoli investigation states that homes contents were listed as valueless or none and no pictures or camcordings were taken by the Administator, Judge Broderick and friends,...in part of Broderick reply he stated who should he take with him.....I guess he doesn't know anybody who is credible, except that Niagara County Deputy who was sold those cars for cheap by the court and has no receipts or pictures either....

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2