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Sources Say State Comptroller Alan Hevesi Will Resign

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – State Comptroller Alan Hevesi is expected to resign Friday morning. Several news sources report that Hevesi is taking a plea deal to avoid jail time and removal from office.

According to police officials in Albany County, Hevesi will walk into a courtroom Friday morning 11:00 and admit to criminal charges. According to those being credited with the information, that and Hevesi's resignation will spare him from as much as four years in jail, forced removal from office and lingering embarrassment in the case.

Hevisi easily won re-election in November, despite the growing scandal that he used state employees to chauffeur his wife. The 66-year-old comptroller has paid over $200,000 so far, in what he called "belated re-disbursements." But that was not enough to quell the calls from state leaders that Hevesi be ousted.

With Hevesi's resignation, it will be up to the Democratically controlled State Legislature to choose his successor.

The process will undoubtedly take some time since several names are already being floated as strong contenders for the post. Buffalo City Comptroller Andrew San Fillipo is among them. Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Len Lenihan says upstate deserves consideration.

"We're certainly hopeful that upstate will be reflected in any nomination put forth for state comptroller," Lenihan said. "Andy San Fillipo would be a great name. So would (Erie County Comptroller) Mark Poloncarz or (former US Attorney) Denise O'Donnell. We have a lot of qualified people from this region. We certainly want to advance those names in this situation."

Ultimately, the state's new Democratic leader, Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer, will have a lot to say about who takes over the job as the state's top fiscal watchdog.