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State paroles former comptroller

Former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi (c.) consults with his attorney during his arraignment in 2010. AP Photo/Louis Lanzano
TimesLedger Newspapers

The son of disgraced former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi said his father realizes his mistakes and wants to move forward now that he has been granted parole after serving 18 months in prison.

“My father has publicly acknowledged that he willfully allowed himself to become unbelievably arrogant, entitled and personally corrupt,” said state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) in a statement issued after the Parole Board voted last Thursday to release his father Dec. 19. “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.”

After being denied his first shot at parole last year, Hevesi was granted early release by the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Hevesi, 72, has been in prison since April 2011, when he was sentenced to one year to four years in prison for taking $1 million in campaign contributions and travel expenses in exchange for pension business while comptroller.

Hevesi, who was state comptroller from January 2003 to December 2006, admitted to accepting nearly $1 million in gifts from Elliott Broidy, the California-based founder of Markstone Capital Partners, a hedge fund that specializes in Israeli investments.

In return for the gifts, Hevesi invested $250 million in pension fund dollars with Markstone.

Then-state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who filed the charges against Hevesi, said he went on trips to Israel and Italy funded by Broidy.

“I have only myself to blame for what I have done,” Hevesi said in a public statement when he was sent to prison in 2011.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who took over the prosecution of Hevesi after Cuomo was elected governor, said Hevesi was “appropriately punished.”

The former comptroller also acknowledged the corruption began in January 2003 and continued until December 2006, when he resigned his post after he was found to have misused a state driver to chauffeur his ailing wife.

Among the conditions of his parole, according to the Department of Corrections, is that he will be subject to a curfew, he cannot travel out of the state without permission and he cannot associate with other figures in the pension corruption scandal.

Hevesi was held at the Mid-State Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison in Marcy, N.Y. The former state comptroller also represented Forest Hills and parts of western Queen in the state Assembly and served as the city comptroller. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor in a four-way Democratic primary in 2001 and finished fourth behind Public Advocate Mark Green, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer and City Council Speaker Peter Vallone.

Hevesi’s son also said his father’s willingness to take responsibility for the improper actions has brought the family closer together.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at smosco@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546

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