By Karen Freifeld
Dec 12 (Reuters) - Former New York State comptroller Alan
Hevesi, the top official convicted in a corruption scandal at
the state pension fund, was released from prison on Wednesday,
the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
Hevesi, 72, had been incarcerated since April 2011 for his
role in the "pay to play" scheme involving the pension fund.
Hevesi admitted accepting nearly $1 million in benefits from a
Los Angeles-based money manager who got $250 million in pension
fund money to invest.
Hevesi left the Mid-State Correctional Facility, a
medium-security state prison in upstate Marcy, New York, about
100 miles west of the state capital, Albany, around 8 a.m. EST
the Department of Corrections said.
"He was picked up by his son, Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi,"
Peter Cutler, a spokesman for the New York State Department of
Corrections, said in an email.
Hevesi had served 20 months of a one-to-four-year sentence
and was granted parole after a hearing last month.
"I got arrogant," Hevesi told the parole board at the Nov.
14 hearing, according to a transcript. Keeping company with Wall
Street billionaires and heads of state, he said he became "a big
shot" in his "own head" and felt he was "entitled" to "perks,"
Among the gifts Hevesi accepted were luxury travel expenses.
Hevesi had a 35-year career in public office, serving as a
state assemblyman, New York city comptroller, and state
comptroller. He sought the Democratic nomination for New York
City mayor in 2001. He holds a doctorate in public law and
government from Columbia University in New York.
Hevesi's fall from grace began when he resigned as state
comptroller in 2006 and pleaded guilty to defrauding the
government by using a state employee to chauffeur his wife. He
was spared jail time for that crime but agreed never to seek
elected office again.
The probe of corruption at the New York state pension fund,
the third largest in the United States and recently valued at
about $150 billion, was conducted by former New York attorney
general Andrew Cuomo, now the state's governor.
Eight people pleaded guilty in the scandal, including
Elliott Broidy, founder of Markstone Capital Partners, the Los
Angeles-based private investment firm.
Other high-profile players in the private equity world also
got swept up in the probe, including Steve Rattner, co-founder
of the Quadrangle Group, who resigned in 2009 as head of the
U.S. auto task force as the investigation intensified. Rattner
settled the probe for $10 million.
(Additional reporting by Chris Francescani)
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