Today’s news:

Fifth time’s a charm for judge: Hevesi court date set yet again

A Manhattan Supreme Court judge set former state comptroller Alan Hevesi’s sentencing on corruption charges for Friday after four other delays in the Forest Hills resident’s sentencing.

The sentencing has been adjourned three times — Dec. 16, Feb. 1 and March 1 — according to court records.

Hevesi, who pleaded guilty to taking $1 million in gifts in exchange for state pension business, was in the hospital late last month for internal bleeding and had an emergency endoscopy.

Hevesi, who was the sole trustee of the state’s multibillion-dollar pension fund when he was comptroller, pleaded guilty Oct. 7 to taking more than $1 million in gifts in exchange for $250 million in pension fund business from Markstone Capital Partners, a private equity firm that has some involvement in Israeli investments.

Bradley Simon, Hevesi’s attorney, filed a sentencing memorandum late last month urging a judge to be lenient with his client, arguing Hevesi “has already been punished severely for his crime.”

“His friends and supporters have virtually abandoned him. He lives totally alone, but for sporadic visits from his children who have lives of their own,” Simon wrote. “Unfortunately, he is today regarded as a pariah; even many Jewish organizations, where he had tirelessly devoted his services and energies for many years, have been reluctant to accept his services.”

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Bart Lewis Stone transferred the case to another judge when Hevesi was scheduled to be sentenced March 28.

Hevesi’s political right-hand man, Hank Morris, was sentenced to up to four years in prison late last month for receiving so-called placement fees in exchange for getting the pension fund to invest with favored firms.

He had been out of office when he was charged with corruption.

As part of a plea deal, Hevesi resigned in 2008 after it was found he had the state police chauffeur his ailing wife despite there being no threat against his wife’s life.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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