WHAT: For 35 years, Democratic college professor Alan Hevesi was among the most respected New York politicians, rising from assemblyman to state comptroller. But today he faces prison after pleading guilty in a $170 million pay-to-play scheme at the state employees’ pension fund he administered as sole trustee.
HOW: Hevesi, 71, admitted to awarding pension investments to a venture capitalist that paid for at least $75,000 worth of travel expenses for him and his family. He also acknowledged knowing about roughly $900,000 the businessman gave him and others, including $500,000 in campaign contributions.
WHAT WENT WRONG: Hevesi’s problems began in 2006 when the ethics commission found he used a staffer to drive his seriously ill wife for three years and didn’t pay for it. He resigned his office, pleaded guilty and paid a $5,000 fine. Then he came under investigation by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is now governor.