Monday, December 04, 2006

SPITZ READIES KO PUNCH VS. HEVESI


NEW YORK POST FRED DICKER
Funny, I was just thinking this am....Hevesi thing is awful quiet....the silence before the storm??? Fred certainly thinks so.....andy
December 4, 2006 -- ALBANY - Attorney General and Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer is about to drop a new bombshell on scandal-scarred state Comptroller Alan Hevesi that senior officials predict will be the final straw to force Hevesi from office, The Post has learned.
Spitzer's office plans to release an explosive report as soon as tomorrow, outlining the results of a two-month-plus investigation into the cost to taxpayers of Hevesi's multiyear use of a state worker as a private chauffeur and companion for his wife.
One source said the report will be a "devastating indictment" of Hevesi's misuse of office, reinforcing an earlier finding by the state Ethics Commission that he conspired through false and inaccurate records and misleading statements to hide his activities from the public.
The report is seen as certain to spur Albany County District Attorney David Soares to bring a criminal indictment against Hevesi.
It would also, a source said, prompt former federal prosecutor David Kelley, who was named by Gov. Pataki to help him decide whether he should ask the Senate to remove Hevesi from office, to ask the governor to do just that.
"When the fact pattern of Hevesi's conduct is made known in this report, it's going to be clear that his continuing to serve in office will no longer be an option," another source told The Post.
Spitzer, a Democrat like Hevesi, put First Deputy Attorney General Michele Hirshman and Criminal Division Deputy Attorney General Peter Pope in charge of the probe to avoid a conflict of interest.
Hirshman and Pope, in a preliminary finding, concluded that Hevesi shortchanged taxpayers by at least $90,000 when he announced before the election that he was reimbursing the state $83,000 for the chauffeur services.
Spitzer and his allies have made it clear they believe Hevesi should leave office, one way or another.
Many top Democrats expect Hevesi to resign if he's given the chance to do so by Soares in exchange for avoiding a criminal indictment.
If Hevesi resigns his office, he'll be replaced by a vote of the Assembly and Senate, meeting as one, which would put the Democrats in the majority.
Should he be removed by the Senate before the end of the year, Pataki would pick his successor.
In both types of removals, Hevesi could still seek to regain his position on Jan. 1, when his new term in office would begin.
That could lead the removal process to begin all over again.




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