Alan Hevesi pleaded guilty last year to pocketing $1 million in gifts for himself and colleagues in a pension fund pay-to-play scandal.
ALBANY, NY - The judge overseeing disgraced ex-Controller Alan Hevesi's conflict of interest case may have a major conflict of his own. Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Lewis Bart Stone has a financial relationship with the estranged father of Hevesi's lawyer, it was revealed in court this week. While the potential conflict isn't expected to impact Hevesi's felony corruption guilty plea, it could lead to a new sentencing judge. Hevesi's lawyer, Bradley Simon, asked Stone to recuse himself from the sentencing - which has been postponed to March28. "I think the ethical quagmire is overwhelming," a transcript shows Simon told the judge. Stone is a longtime friend of Simon's dad and informed the lawyer at the March 1 hearing that he is the executor of the father's wills and trustee of his living trust. He then blabbed that Simon wasn't listed as a beneficiary of his father's trusts or will. "I may have overspoke," Stone acknowledged at one point. He insisted multiple times he sees no reason for recusal, saying he did not prepare any of the Simon family documents nor have a financial interest with Bradley Simon. Hevesi pleaded guilty last year to pocketing $1 million in gifts for himself and colleagues in a pension fund pay-to-play scandal. He faces up to four years in jail.