U.S Attorney Preet Bharara’s visit to Albany

In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Last Monday, in an 18 minute address to the New York Conference of Mayor’s’ U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara appealed to honest politicians and others in state government to “call out corruption when they see it.” Later the same day, he participated in an hour long broadcast held on Albany-based WAMC/FM. Short of revealing current investigative plans, we have the right …

Graft kings: What Shelly Silver’s trial reveals about government.

In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

The Sheldon Silver of a previous age, George Washington Plunkitt, summed up his long career in Democratic Party machine politics thus: “Everybody is talkin’ these days about Tammany [Hall] men growin’ rich on graft, but nobody thinks of drawin’ the distinction between honest graft and dishonest graft. There’s all the difference in the world between the two. Yes, many of …

How some of your money is being spent

In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

As reported on the web site of www.seethroughny.net on September 28th, total pension payout’s for 394,000 retirees in state and local New York State governments (outside of NYC) reached $9.7 billion, in the fiscal year ending in March of 2015, up from $9.3 billion in the prior period. For more specific information, use their web site for more detailed information. …

Willie Sutton Lives on in Albany

In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Breaking News 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 …

New Rules To Spotlight Governments’ Retiree Costs.

In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Breaking News From the desk of Michael Rapoport – WSJ – June 3/15. The rising cost of public employee retiree benefits, and underfunded liabilities has plagued state and local governments for years contributing to the bankruptcy of the cities of Detroit Michigan, Stockton, and San Bernardino in California, and Providence, Rhode Island. Two specific causes are evident. One, accounting standards, …

Common Sense

In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

My July 25th column hardly supported Governor Cuomo’s plan to root out political corruption in New York State thru the use of a special commission. One of the major critics of this plan has been highly acclaimed and subject matter expert U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, from the Southern District in New York. In testimony just given he offers the following …

Nothing happens in Albany by accident

In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Fighting corruption: My last column, posted on July 25th was titled “Not sold on Cuomo’s plan to stop corruption.” I’m not the only one concerned. Last week, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver sent his colleagues a letter advising them of the hiring of a law firm that will fight overreaching by the commission and preserve proper respect for the constitutional doctrine …

New York State retirement fund’s unhappy returns

In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

From the NY Post August 18, 2013: When Albany puts out new’s next Friday you can bet it’s bad news. So it is with state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s report on the quarterly performance of the state retirement fund. The return for the three month period ending June 30th was a meager 0.29 percent. The Dow Jones stock index increased by …

Ex-State Senate leader fails in bid to avoid retrail

In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Former Republican party Majority Leader Senator Joseph L. Bruno, who resigned from office when confronted with a federal corruption investigation in 2008,  just lost his “stay out of jail” appeal not to be tried twice for the same crime. In a ruling issued on August 6th the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled the government could proceed with its …

New York State Legislators Reap Bemefits of Part-Time Jobs

In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

As required in the Public Authority Reform Act of 2011, “certain state officers and employees, elected state officials, legislative officers and employees, among others, file Financial Disclosure Statements. In addition, lobbyists must file reports concerning their activities and identify the names of their clients. This information is available on line in spreadsheet format using the web site of the New …