ALBANY – Former State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who became a poster child for Albany corruption, is getting released from prison after 19 months behind bars for misusing a state pension fund.
Hevesi, once the state’s chief fiscal watchdog, was involved in a pay-to-play scandal that involved giving firms access to the massive pension fund for state and local government workers over which the comptroller has sole oversight.
Hevesi, described by prison officials as inmate Number 11-R-1334, will be released from his cell in an Oneida County prison by Dec. 19.
The Democrat once ran a pension system valued at more than $100 billion and also was in charge of auditing all state agencies and keeping tabs on the health of the state budget.
In all, Hevesi took what amounted to about $1 million in bribes from a Los Angeles venture capitalist, which included free travel to Europe, Israel and California, as well as campaign donations. Hevesi’s pension firm invested $250 million in a firm run by the venture capitalist Elliott Broidy.
The former Assembly member, a Queens Democrat, appeared before the parole board Wednesday at Mid-State Correctional Facility, and the release was announced Thursday morning by the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
Hevesi, 72, has been in prison since April 2011. The agency has not yet released a transcript of Hevesi’s appearance before the parole panel.
The state noted Hevesi has served 19 months of a four-year maximum sentence.
“You have thus served significant time beyond your minimum sentence of one year imposed by the court,” the three-board parole panel said Thursday. It was Hevesi’s second try at getting early parole.
Hevesi pleaded guilty in the case. His was one of many Albany-style corruption cases over the past decade – during which time a governor resigned for his role in a prostitution ring, former state senators went to jail, others got caught up in sex scandals, and staff members had various legal run-ins.
He will serve the rest of his sentence under community supervision until April 14, 2015.