Sunday, November 7, 2010

Andrew Cuomo, NYAG giving get out of jail free cards to his friends

How Much Longer Can New York allow the Rampant Corrupt Actions, Cover Ups and Back Alley Deals Served up by New York Attorney Andrew Cuomo.

"Cuomo needs to lay thickest punishment upon Hank Morris for multimillion-dollar state pension loot.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has moved to close an investigation into a multimillion-dollar looting of the state pension fund by allowing the ringleader to cop to a single felony plus restitution.

Cuomo's proposed plea bargain would subject master manipulator Hank Morris to a maximum of four years in prison, with probation a possibility, plus forking over the $19 million he pilfered.

Quite properly, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lewis Stone insisted on delving into the wisdom of the deal before giving his okay. He must be sure Cuomo got the most he could after assessing the odds of winning a tougher conviction at trial.

The details of the arrangement are as yet secret because Stone sealed the document that spells them out. But recouping the $19 million lessens the sting considerably.

The need for the toughest possible punishment is clear.

Consider that Morris, a close pal of disgraced former Controller Alan Hevesi, sold access to the fund to money managers seeking to earn huge fees.

That he faces a 77-count indictment, including one charge that carries a penalty of up to 25 years.

That seven other figures, including Hevesi, have pleaded guilty.

That various Wall Street firms caught up in the conspiracy have paid $150 million in restitution.

That other recently convicted Albany pols received longer sentences for smaller transgressions against taxpayers.

And that Cuomo himself - in a recent interview with the Daily News Editorial Board - trumpeted the pension-fund case as "probably the largest political corruption scandal in modern political history."

Pinning a felony conviction on Morris would be no small matter. Neither would be retrieving the $19 million.

But unless Cuomo wins the absolute maximum, there will be a jarring disconnect between his rhetoric before Election Day and the plea bargain that surfaced shortly after he won the race for governor.

Cuomo must ensure that Morris and Hevesi, awaiting sentencing under a similar deal, get the well-deserved hammer.

To let either of them off easier than a small-time crook who steals a car or burglarizes a house would be a travesty. "

Source of Post
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/11/07/2010-11-07_punish_pension_pilferers.html

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