Friday, April 17, 2009

NYS Pension Pay To Play Ensnares Obama Administration Pick?

Fred Dicker is reporting that one of President Obama's top advisers for the auto-industry rescue was linked to New York state's massive pay-to-play pension scandal.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said an executive, identified by sources as Steven Rattner, used a politically connected middleman to steer a $150 million pension investment to the private equity firm he headed, Quadrangle Group LLC.

The investment deal was wrapped up after Quadrangle put big bucks into a dud movie produced by a brother of the pension-fund manager, according to the complaint.

The middleman, consultant Hank Morris; the pension manager, David Loglisci; and former Liberal Party chief Raymond Harding have all been criminally charged with taking kickbacks to arrange investments in private companies by the massive pension fund.

All three were close associates of disgraced former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi.

The SEC, which is working with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, filed its amended complaint yesterday in Manhattan federal court.

It says "a senior executive of Quadrangle Group LLC" met with Morris in hopes of winning his help in obtaining state pension-fund investments for Quadrangle.

Sources close to the investigation identified that executive as Rattner, a co-founder and one-time managing principal of Quadrangle.
This just keeps getting better and better.

Keep in mind the time frame here as well. The allegations span the period from 2000 through 2005. Eliot Spitzer was the Attorney General of New York during that relevant period (he was AG from 1999 until 2006, when he became Governor). During that time, Spitzer repeatedly attacked Wall Street for graft and pressured Wall Street executives to cut deals with his office. Yet, he never once bothered to look into the actions of those within the NYS government who were trusted with overseeing the $122 billion pension plan and whether any irregularities were involved.

Spitzer became governor on the strength of his assault on Wall Street. He overlooked the corruption within the state government. That's a mistake that Andrew Cuomo is not making.

Hot Air, Jammie, and the Rhetorican (ed: fixed spelling as that's how Rhetorican spells his blog's name) all note the ongoing failure of the Obama Administration to vet candidates for government positions along with the poor judgment in allowing nominations of people whose legal or tax troubles should have kept them from obtaining the nominations.

Instapundit links. Thanks!

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