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Screening Panel Will Interview Potential Comptroller Candidates

By Mark Scott

Albany, NY – In a display of bi-partisanship rarely seen in Albany, state government's top leaders have come up with a plan for selecting the next comptroller. Under the plan, a comptroller could be chosen by the end of the month.

Governor Spitzer says he and legislative leaders have agreed to a process that takes the politics out of the selection process.

"What we have agreed to do is create a screening panel, whose constituency will be three individuals. Each one is an esteemed and respected former comptroller," Spitzer said. "That screening panel will interview the candidates -- all of those who are interested in being comptroller of the State of New York."

The panel will then recommend several candidates who will be questioned by Democratic and Republican lawmakers in public hearings. A finalist would be selected during a joint session of the Legislature.

The next comptroller will succeed Alan Hevesi, who resigned last month because of the scandal involving his use of state employees as drivers for his wife.