William Francis “Willie” Sutton was a prolific bank robber stealing an estimated $2 million over a forty year career. When asked why he robbed banks he answered “because that’s where the money is. “
Investigative work recently completed, using financial disclosure records available to the New York Times, questioned the spending of Sheldon Silver’s replacement Democratic Majority Leader Carl E. Heastie citing the misuse over $1.1 million in campaign funds to support a self-serving, highly suspect, life style.
First noticed by the Moreland Commission (before it was disbanded) investigators’ found that Carl’s filings showed he spent (in one set of circumstances) $97,910 without identifying a purpose or recipient, another $30,000 on fixing his personal car, a black BMW 328i, a third collecting $72,512 in reimbursements for 35 round trips from the Bronx to Albany. The state reimbursement rate, calculated by the IRS, is intended to cover all cost associated with operating a vehicle, including repairs, gas and insurance. Something does not add up!
Add to the list $8,200 payment to American Express described on disclosure forms to keep “a campaign account balance to zero,” meal expenses at a restaurant that didn’t serve food, and cash payments to two girlfriends, one to design a web page, the other, campaign literature, neither of which was ever used.
I’m disappointed that the Times refers to Carl’s indiscretions’ as a “blurring of lines” between Political and Personal. A better correlation would be “Heastie accused of using political might to pillage state coffers. Another chapter of our insane, and corrupt political culture!