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Hevesi to Be Sentenced by N.Y. Judge Obus in State-Fund Case

Ex-New York State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi will be sentenced by state Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Obus for his role in corruption at the state pension fund, possibly on April 8, the judge said.

Hevesi pleaded guilty in October to approving $250 million in pension fund investments in exchange for almost $1 million in gifts. The judge who accepted the plea, Justice Lewis Bart Stone, transferred the case last week citing publicity over his relationship with the parents of Hevesi’s lawyer.

Obus set sentencing for April 8 if Hevesi’s lawyer, Bradley Simon, can be available. Simon said in an interview after the appearance that he is flying to Zurich on another matter and may not be back in the country in time. Obus said a decision on the date will be made by April 6.

“I will be handling the matter myself,” Obus said today at a court hearing. As administrative judge, he could have reassigned the case.

Hevesi is the highest-ranking official to plead guilty in a probe of corruption at the New York state Common Retirement Fund conducted by former state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, now the governor.

Hevesi from 2003 through 2006 was comptroller and trustee of the retirement fund, recently valued at $140.2 billion. He may be sentenced to as little as no time in prison or to a range of one year and four months to four years.

Favored Treatment

Hevesi admitted giving preferential treatment to Markstone Capital Partners, approving $250 million in pension fund investments in exchange for $75,000 in travel expenses, $380,000 in sham consulting fees for a lobbyist and more than $500,000 in campaign contributions.

The ex-official, who was hospitalized last week when he was scheduled for sentencing, appeared in court today. He declined to comment on his health after the hearing.

The case is People v. Hevesi, 4632/2010, New York Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Freifeld in New York at kfreifeld@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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