Seward: Hevesi Should Quit

James L. Seward

October 25, 2006

State Senator James L. Seward today called on State Comptroller Alan Hevesi to resign in light of a finding by the state ethics commission that he broke the law in having his state chauffeur drive his wife.

"It's time for Mr. Hevesi to resign as state comptroller. In light of a finding -- and his admission that he broke the law -- the state's chief auditor is left without a shred of credibility. He has covered up his crime and refuses to take responsibility for it.

"How can he certify a state budget or issue a finding critical of a town's financial management?

"Mr. Hevesi's office performs audits that find fault with municipal officials when they fail to bid a snowplow or blacktop purchase properly, or that money was missing in a justice court somewhere -- but now he is found to have broken the law, admitting it only when confronted. Money is missing in the comptroller's office. But there is no responsibility without consequences. He must pay the penalty and resign.

"While a criminal investigation continues that will presumably address issues of official misconduct, Mr. Hevesi should nonetheless use his sharpened auditor's pencil to write a resignation letter and take a second retirement."