N.Y. State comptroller pleads guilty

Dec. 22, 2006 at 10:05 PM
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ALBANY, N.Y., Dec. 22 (UPI) -- New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi pleaded guilty Friday to defrauding the government, admitting that he used a state chauffeur to drive his wife.

Hevesi's plea agreement requires him to resign and bars him from appealing, NY1 reported. In return, he is spared a prison term.

His political career ended only six weeks after Hevesi won re-election easily. But the campaign proved his undoing when his opponent accused him of improper use of state employees.

Hevesi at first tried to argue that the chauffeur was providing necessary security. But the chauffeur was prepared to testify that he also performed chores like picking up clothes at the dry cleaners and even putting the trash out.

"I want to apologize for the people of New York State who have given me the extraordinary honor of serving them for 35 years," Hevesi said.

Hevesi was elected to the state Assembly in 1971. In 1993, he became New York City comptroller, where he won praise for his competence but was also accused of using government employees for personal services.

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