Morris Reaches Deal To Plead Guilty In NY Pension Probe

There’s some news today on the “pay to play” scandal.

Henry “Hank” Morris, former adviser to ex-New York Comptroller Alan Hevesi, has agreed to plead guilty to a single felony in the state’s long running corruption investigation, according to press reports. Morris had been charged last year in a 123-count indictment.

Last month, Hevesi pleaded guilty to a single charge of felony corruption.

Andrew Cuomo, the New York attorney general who this week won his bid for governor, has been investigating the “pay to play” practices at the New York Common Retirement Fund for the past three years. Hevesi was sole trustee of the fund, which is valued at $124.8 billion. Cuomo has charged that the fund became “a piggy bank” for Morris, who reaped millions of dollars in fees from individuals and firms seeking to invest the state’s money, Reuters has said.

The fate of Steve Rattner is still unclear. Rattner’s firm, the Quadrangle Group, has admitted paying Morris $1.1 million. In return, Quadrangle obtained $100 million in investment commitments from the New York State Common Retirement Fund. Quadrangle, in April, agreed to pay $12 million to settle allegations.

Two weeks ago, Rattner rejected a settlement offer from Cuomo where he would have paid $20 million fine, the New York Times is reporting . Rattner is near a settlement with the SEC, according to press reports. The Quadrangle co-founder has agreed to be banned from the securities industry for a few years and pay a $5 million fine, the New York Times said last month.