Tag Archives: Alan Hevesi

Queens political hall of shame


| editorial@queenscourier.com

File photos

This New York City election season features not one, but two formerly disgraced politicians asking voters to give them a second chance.

Former Congressmember Anthony Weiner, who announced he is running for mayor in May, and former Governor Eliot Spitzer, who launched his bid for city comptroller last week, were both forced to resign after sexual scandals.

They’re not the only ones in the political hall of shame. Here’s a recap of some recent Queens electeds who have been caught in their own scandals.

State Senator Malcolm Smith and Councilmember Dan Halloran

State Senator Malcolm Smith and Councilmember Dan Halloran are still fighting off bombshell accusations they had an elaborate scheme to rig the 2013 mayoral election.

The two were among six officials arrested by the FBI on April 2.

Smith, a registered Democrat, needed consent from three of the city’s five GOP chairmen to run for mayor as a Republican. He allegedly bribed GOP officials to get on the ticket.

Feds say Halloran pocketed nearly $21,000 in cash for setting up meetings between Smith and GOP officials. He also offered up councilmember item cash in exchange for bribes, prosecutors said.

Smith, elected to the State Senate in 2000, was the chair of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) before his power was revoked shortly after the arrest.

Halloran has been the Republican incumbent in Council District 19 since 2009. He was stripped of his committee assignments and ability to allocate funds. He said he would not seek reelection this year.

The two have denied wrongdoing. Their cases are ongoing.

Shirley Huntley

Former State Senator Shirley Huntley was arrested and charged last August with two felonies and a misdemeanor for drafting a fake letter to show that a sham nonprofit group, the Parents Information Network, used a $30,000 state grant for “workshops.”

Despite calls for her to resign following the arrest, Huntley continued with her reelection campaign, but lost her seat to then-Councilmember James Sanders in the 2012 Democratic Primary. She had held the seat since 2007.

Though she initially pleaded not guilty, she pleaded guilty to the charges almost six months after her arrest. In May, she was sentenced to one year and one day in jail plus three years probation.

The same month, it was revealed that Huntley secretly recorded the conversations of elected officials while she was still in office at the request of federal authorities.

Jimmy Meng

Former Assemblymember Jimmy Meng was arrested by the FBI in July 2012 and charged with bribery.

Meng, 69, was the first Asian-American to serve in the New York State legislature. He represented Flushing from 2005 to 2006 and is the father to Congressmember Grace Meng.

Feds said Meng solicited $80,000 in bribes from a state court defendant who had been charged with state tax crimes and sought Meng’s help to reduce the sentence.

Meng was caught red-handed at his Flushing lumber yard accepting a fruit basket filled with cash from the defendant, who was cooperating with FBI agents.

He pleaded guilty last November and served his one month jail sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey. He was released on April 18.

Meng is currently serving four months of house arrest and two years of probation. He was also ordered to pay $30,000 in fines and serve 750 hours of community service.

Hiram Monserrate

Former Councilmember and State Senator Hiram Monserrate was sentenced to 24 months in prison in December 2012 after pleading guilty to charges that he misappropriated more than $100,000 in City Council discretionary funding to finance his failed 2006 run for state Senate.

The money was directed to the Latino Initiative for Better Resources and Empowerment (LIBRE), a non-profit in his council district at the time. The discretionary funds, which are drawn from city taxpayer dollars, were used to pay employees of the non-profit to collect signatures, work on his Senate campaign and conduct a voter registration drive.

Monserrate, who was elected to the state Senate in 2008 after eight years in the City Council, was expelled from the seat in 2010 after being convicted of domestic assault on his girlfriend. He lost the subsequent special election to state Senator Jose Peralta.

Anthony Seminerio

FBI agents arrested longtime Queens Assemblymember Anthony Seminerio in September 2008 after an investigation found that he that he took nearly $1 million from hospitals, a school and other entities for actions he undertook as a member of the State Assembly. A grand jury indicted him a month later.

In June 2009, he resigned from his seat after 30 years in the Assembly and pleaded guilty.

He was sentenced in February 2010 to six years in prison.

Seminerio passed away in January 2011 at age 75.

Brian McLaughlin

In March 2008, Assemblymember Brian McLaughlin, a seven-term politician and former head of the New York City Central Labor Council (CLC), pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $2.2 million in funds from people he worked for and served along with numerous organizations.

Those included the CLC, the state of New York and even a number of nonprofits.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Following his 2006 arrest, he left office at the end of the year after serving in the Assembly since 1993.

Alan Hevesi

In December 2006, former Queens Assemblymember and State Comptroller Alan Hevesi pleaded guilty to a class E felony defrauding the state government by using a state employee as a personal chauffeur for his ailing wife.

Hevesi, who resigned as comptroller the same month he pleaded guilty, received the maximum four-year sentence.

After serving 20 months behind bars, Hevesi was released from prison. He will remain on parole until April 2015.

Dennis Gallagher

First elected in 2001, City Councilmember Dennis Gallagher resigned in March 2008 after he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, admitting that he sexually abused a woman in his office in Middle Village in July 2007 while he was intoxicated.

The victim later filed a civil suit against him.

 

 

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Former Comptroller Alan Hevesi released after 20 months in prison


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

After serving 20 months behind bars for a pay-to-play scandal, former city and state Comptroller Alan Hevesi was released from prison with more than two years remaining on his sentence.

The disgraced politician received the maximum four-year sentence in April 2011 after pleading guilty to corruption charges involving the state’s pension fund. Hevesi accepted $1 million worth of gifts in exchange for investing more than $250 million in a pension fund run by Elliott Broidy.

Hevesi, who had been serving his time at the Mid-State Correctional Facility in Oneida County, was granted his freedom by the parole board last month and will remain on parole until April 2015.

“My entire family is very happy he is coming home,” said Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, one of Alan’s three children. “We have missed him.”

The 72 year old was successful in his second appearance before the parole after being denied his release last year.

Hevesi told the board during his parole hearing in November that during his first year in prison he was in denial and attempted to minimize his transgressions.

“Maybe this is wrong, but I willfully turned away from [the crimes] and decided not to inquire, I allowed it to happen and that is why I am in prison and that is why I did not challenge it, because, you know what, I am guilty,” he said.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Today’s Forecast

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 54. North wind 8 to 10 mph. Friday night: Clear, with a low around 42. North wind 6 to 8 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: LIC Bar: Benefit for Long Beach/Rockaways Hurricane Relief

Two longstanding sister restaurants, Austins Steak and Ale House in Kew Gardens and Bourbon Street in Bayside, will host a benefit with half the proceeds benefiting relief efforts for the Long Beach and Rockaways communities. A ticket will include an open bar with a complimentary buffet. There will be live music at both venues, as well as guest bartenders from the surrounding Queens areas. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Petraeus talks at last and says no classified info shared with ‘mistress’ Paula Broadwell

In his first public remarks since resigning as CIA director last Friday over an extramarital affair, retired General David Petraeus said he did not share any classified documents with his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell. Petraeus also told a reporter for the HLN television network that it was the affair, not any questions over the CIA’s role during the September 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that prompted him to step down. Read more: Daily News

Obama lands at JFK, tours areas hardest hit by Sandy

President Barack Obama landed at JFK International Airport just after 11:30 a.m., where he was greeted by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Read more: Queens Courier

Stranded: Scores of Brooklyn and Queens seniors still without power in cold, dark apartments

Scores of fragile seniors living in storm-ravaged Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods are still holed up in deplorable homes without power, heat, or working elevators. 18 days later, many elderly residents in Zone A, the flood-prone evacuation district along the city’s coastline, haven’t been outside since Oct. 29. Read more: Daily News

Ex-Comptroller Alan Hevesi to be released on parole in December

After nearly two years behind bars for a pay-to-play scandal, former city and state Comptroller Alan Hevesi was granted parole last night, the state’s Department of Corrections said. Hevesi was successful in his second appearance before a state parole board and is scheduled to be released by December 19. Read more: Queens Courier

Two Catholics schools shut down by Sandy share a crowded building

It’s been almost three weeks since students from St. Camillus School in Rockaway Beach and Ave Maria Academy in Howard Beach were in class. Both Catholic schools in Queens suffered serious damage in the storm. But on Thursday, the Howard Beach building was ready to reopen, so both schools moved in for classes. Read more: NY1

Ex-Comptroller Alan Hevesi to be released on parole in December


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

After nearly two years behind bars for a pay-to-play scandal, former city and state Comptroller Alan Hevesi was granted parole last night, the state’s Department of Corrections said.

Hevesi was successful in his second appearance before a state parole board and is scheduled to be released by December 19.  The 72-year-old will remain on probation until April 2015.

The disgraced politician received the maximum four-year sentence in April 2011 after pleading guilty to corruption charges involving the state’s pension fund.

Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, the former comptroller’s son, said his father has been “extensively punished” for allowing himself to become corrupt.

“He let corruption flourish around him by intentionally denying what was happening in his office.  In addition to the betrayal of the public trust, my father has also taken responsibility for several lifelong patterns that have hurt his family and friends that are unrelated to what happened in the comptroller’s office,” the assemblymember said.

Hevesi has served the past 19 months at the medium-security Mid-State Correctional Facility in Oneida County.

The parole board found Hevesi would not pose a “risk of safety to the community” if released and should continue to serve his sentence on probation.

“My dad has owned and taken responsibility for his actions, he has been extensively punished for them, and now he and my entire family are closing the book on this part of our lives,” the younger Hevesi said.

 

 

Fiancee of Sean Bell urges NYPD Chief Ray Kelly to fire officers in beau’s shooting death


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Fiancee of Sean Bell urges NYPD Chief Ray Kelly to fire officers in beau’s shooting death

Sean Bell’s fiancée Thursday urged the city’s top cop to sack all five officers who fired in the shooting frenzy that killed her beau on their wedding day in 2006. Nicole Paultre-Bell made the demand of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly after an NYPD trials commissioner recommended Tuesday that one of the cops, Detective Gescard Isnora, be booted from the force for violating department protocol while undercover and firing the first shot in the 50-shot barrage. Read More: Daily News

Mayor Michael Bloomberg breaks ground on Willets Point redevelopment 

Mayor Bloomberg broke ground Thursday on a controversial redevelopment that he vowed will transform gritty Willets Point into “a major engine for economic growth.” Bloomberg unearthed dirt with a slew of elected officials just steps from the mix of auto body shops and junkyards that abuts Citi Field. Read More: Daily News

Enter The Courier’s Giveaway of the Day Contest

The holidays are in full swing and in keeping with the spirit of the season of giving The Queens Courier is handing out free prizes daily. Today, four tickets to the North Shore Towers Cinema will be raffled off.  All you need to enter is an email address and your zip code. Click here to enter the contest. Check back daily as new prizes will be offered each day.  Yesterday, Robert Vasquez took home two tickets to the St. John’s Red Storm. Via Queens Courier

21 charged in scheme to defraud NY car dealerships

Members of a New York City auto crime ring busted this week bribed people into applying for expensive automobile loans for Cadillacs, Porsches and other luxury cars, then defaulted on millions of dollars and sold the cars on the black market. One of the 50 cars wrongly procured, a Porsche, was used to dump the body of one of two victims shot in 2009 inside the Long Island condo belonging to pro football player Jonathan Vilma, authorities said. Read More: Wall Street Journal

Disgraced former New York Controller Alan Hevesi will keep rotting in prison as parole board turns him down

 

Disgraced former state Controller Alan Hevesi was denied his first attempt at parole Thursday and will spend at least another year behind bars, the Daily News has learned. The once powerful Queens Democrat is serving a one-to-four year sentence at medium-security Mid-Hudson Correctional Facility in Oneida County for his role in a massive pay-to-play pension fund scandal during his tenure as state controller. Read More: Daily News

Alexander’s Secures $275M Refinancing of Rego Park II in Queens

 

Alexander’s, Inc. has completed a $275 million refinancing of its 610,000 square foot Rego Park II shopping center located in Queens. The seven-year loan bears interest at LIBOR plus 1.85 percent and amortizes based on a 30-year schedule. The proceeds of the new loan were used to repay the existing loan on the property. Alexander’s, Inc. is a real estate investment trust that has seven properties in the greater New York City metropolitan area. Read More: CityBizList