Ahead of his sentencing on corruption charges, former State Comptroller Alan Hevesi is pleading for leniency, citing his failing health among other issues. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
In new documents, a wide spotlight is being trained on Alan Hevesi's health and it shows him in worse shape than previously known.
In a memo, Hevesi attorneys Simon & Partners write, "While Alan maintains a stoic and positive front, the reality is that his health has been rapidly deteriorating. The constant stress and public shame that he has suffered no doubt playing a significant role."
Little detail is spared in the court papers. Hevesi is on no less than nine drugs for anxiety to high blood pressure. And attached notes from four doctors warn if Hevesi serves any of the four years he faces in prison, things could get worse.
Hevesi's ailing wife, Carol, also wrote to the judge that he was driven from office in 2006 after admitting he used state workers to care for her, out of concern she would attempt suicide again. And there's new reason given for that concern: Hevesi's mother also took her own life.
There are also letters from Hevesi's three children, including Dan Hevesi, a former state senator who pins the blame squarely on his father's former political guru Hank Morris.
In one memo, Dan Hevesi writes, "The sad fact is that after so many years of allowing Hank Morris to do whatever he wanted and blindly trusting him, my father had facilitated Hank Morris' ability to take the ultimate advantage of him."
After himself pleading guilty, Morris is in prison for up to four years. He steered pension investments in exchange for kickbacks.
As for Hevesi, the memos are begging for leniency lest he receive the same fate.
"It's an interesting dance almost that Mr. Hevesi is trying to do. I think that expressing remorse, acknowledging responsibility and also asking the court to be mindful that his degree of culpability may not have been as significant or as great as one of his codefendants," said Jonathan Oberman of the Cardozo School of Law.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman declined comment, other than to point to his own sentencing memo. It asks for the maximum sentence.
The state comptroller must ensure taxpayer money is used effectively, the memo says, adding, "Hevesi failed spectacularly to live up to that responsibility."