The judge who accepted the guilty plea of former New York state Comptroller Alan Hevesi will transfer the pension fund corruption case for sentencing to restore “clarity.”
State Supreme Court Justice Lewis Bart Stone, who was scheduled to sentence Mr. Hevesi Monday, denied a motion requesting that he recuse himself in connection with an alleged conflict of interest. Mr. Stone said he would turn over the case to an administrative judge on April 4.
While there was no basis for the court to recuse itself, the attempt to have Mr. Stone step aside had become a “serious press issue,” the judge said. He said it was time to turn the focus back to Mr. Hevesi, who pleaded guilty in October to approving pension fund investments in exchange for almost $1 million in gifts.
“In the interest of restoring this clarity, this court hereby transfers the matter for sentencing,” Mr. Stone said.
Mr. Hevesi may be sentenced to as little as no time in prison or to a range of one year and four months to four years. His lawyer, Bradley Simon, had filed a motion for the judge to recuse himself in connection with the judge's role as trustee and executor of the estate of Mr. Simon's father.