Former state comptroller Alan Hevesi, in prison since April 2011 for corruption, was granted parole today and will be released before Christmas.
Hevesi, who was the state assemblyman from Forest Hills and then the city comptroller before becoming state comptroller, had pleaded guilty to felony misconduct for misusing his powers as the state's chief financial officer in a pay-to-play scheme. He had admitted accepting more than $1 million in benefits in exchange for putting more than $250 million in state pension money into an associate's investment firm. The case, investigated by then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, now the governor, led to prison sentences for a number of people, including Hevesi's top political aide.
In a separate case, the comptroller had previously been convicted of another felony after admitting he used a state employee as a chauffeur for his wife.
At a Parole Board hearing held last year, The New York Times reported, Hevesi expressed remorse for what he had done.
“I’m certainly guilty,” The Times quoted him as saying. “I have time in prison to think through all the people that I’ve hurt.”
Hevesi's son, state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills), issued a statement saying his father knows he allowed himself to become corrupt and that he has taken responsibility for his actions.
The younger Hevesi's full statement reads:
“My father has publicly acknowledged that he willfully allowed himself to become unbelievably arrogant, entitled and personally 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.
"I have witnessed my father confront his personal failings and overcome his own denial and defense mechanisms in an attempt to regain the fierce integrity that has always defined him. I can say without hesitation that I have never loved him more, been more proud of him or been more resolute in aspiring to be a man like him than I am now.
"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 Times reported that the elder Hevesi will be released by Dec. 19.