Legislation introduced in the New York State Assembly would codify a ban on the use of placement agents, paid intermediaries and registered lobbyists from doing any business with the $140.6 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany.
Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York state comptroller and the pension fund’s sole trustee, wrote the bill; State Assemblyman Peter J. Abbate Jr. is its sponsor.
Mr. DiNapoli in April 2009 issued an executive order banning the use of placement agents at the fund following charges that former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi received $1 million in gifts in exchange for approving $250 million in pension fund investments to private equity fund Markstone Capital Partners. Mr. Hevesi on April 15 was sentenced to up to four years in prison after pleading guilty to the charges.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in April directed the state insurance department to issue permanent regulations banning placement agents, lobbyists and elected officials from doing business with the retirement fund.
“Broadly speaking,” the proposed law would achieve the same goals as Mr. Cuomo’s proposed regulations, Eric Sumberg, spokesman for Mr. DiNapoli, said in a telephone interview.
“It’s a matter of this is part of Comptroller DiNapoli’s priorities,” Mr. Sumberg said, adding that Mr. DiNapoli wants to make sure the ban continues beyond his time as comptroller.