No Jail Time For Harding In Pension Probe

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Former Liberal Party chairman Raymond Harding was spared jail time today in his role in the massive pay-to-play scandal involving the state pension fund.

He received a one-year conditional discharge, according to Bloomberg News.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who prosecuted the case as attorney general last year, responded to the sentencing, saying the sentencing is “a reminder that those who partner with corrupt public officials can no longer rely on the defense of business as usual in Albany. While the judge spared him prison time due to his health, Harding now has a criminal record, has lost his law license, and can never reapply to the bar or do business with the state again.”

Cuomo said Harding is the eighth conviction in the case, including former Comptroller Alan Hevesi — who was sentenced to 1 to 4 years in prison last month.

From Bloomberg:

Raymond Harding, the former chairman of New Yorks Liberal Party who admitted to breaking state securities laws, was spared prison time and allowed to keep the $800,000 he made in a pension-fund kickback scheme.

Justice Lewis Bart Stone in state Supreme Court in Manhattan today sentenced Harding, 76, to a one-year conditional discharge, during which he wont be able to reapply for his law license or conduct business with the state.

Harding admitted in 2009 that he wrongfully obtained $800,000 in fees related to transactions with the state employee retirement fund with the help of Hank Morris, onetime adviser to former New York state Comptroller Alan Hevesi. Both Hevesi and Morris have been sentenced to prison.

“I am profoundly sorry for what I have done,” Harding told Stone today.

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  1. smartporpoise on

    What a shock! YOU steal 800 grand, admit it, and see if they give you a “conditional” discharge and let you keep the dough. You think his political ties helped this miscarriage? Only in NY politics, fans, does it get quite this bad.