Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Spitzer And Cuomo Meet, Discuss Future Of Hevesi

Courtesy NY 1

NY! News
Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer had some advice Tuesday for his successor as state attorney general, during a post-election sit down with Andrew Cuomo. But as NY1’s Josh Robin found out, it was state Comptroller Alan Hevesi who was getting the advice, even though he was not there. Two incoming top state officials met Tuesday, less than a month before their inauguration. "Andrew has told how much he is excited about the prospect of working together,” said Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer. But it was another official the pair could be working with, that dominated the discussion. Embattled state Comptroller Alan Hevesi still looms over the state's political theater, and threatens to put a rain cloud over what Spitzer and Cuomo hope will be a sunny inauguration. Privately, Spitzer has said to want Hevesi, who is under investigation for using a state worker as a driver and companion for his wife, to resign next year. But, publicly, the governor-elect is not saying anything. "The appropriate posture right now is to wait for these legal processes to reach their conclusion, and then there will be loads of opportunity to figure out what should be done," said Spitzer. Those legal processes include a probe by Spitzer's deputy to see whether Hevesi needs to reimburse the state more money. He has already paid $170,000 back to the state. Spitzer, who endorsed Hevesi only to later withdraw his support, has recused himself from making a decision. Former U.S. Attorney David Kelly is also helping Governor Pataki decide whether to have the State Senate remove Hevesi. The Albany district attorney is also considering criminal charges. Hevesi has admitted errors, but says the public showed they want him to continue as comptroller by re-electing him overwhelmingly last month. Cuomo will inherit about 20,000 cases when he takes over next year, including some in the financial sector where Spitzer made his mark. But Cuomo would not say what he will do with those cases, and Spitzer says it is up to his successor to decide how he will run the office come Jan. 1.

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