- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - The former head of New York’s Liberal Party has been charged with receiving more than $800,000 in illegal fees linked to state pension fund investments.

The charges were announced Wednesday by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is investigating allegations of pay-to-play corruption under former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi (HEV’-uh-see).

Cuomo says the Liberal Party’s former chairman Raymond Harding got the fees as a reward for helping Hevesi’s son obtain a seat in the state Assembly. Cuomo says there is no evidence the younger Hevesi knew of the arrangement.

Harding’s lawyer says he did nothing wrong.

The attorney general also confirmed Dallas businessman and hedge fund manager Barrett Wissman pleaded guilty Feb. 3 to securities fraud charges. Prosecutors say Wissman helped two top Hevesi aides sell access to the $$122 billion pension fund to investment firms.

(This version CORRECTS date of Wissman’s guilty plea to Feb. 3 sted March 31, size of fund to $122 billion sted $150 billion; ADDS pronouncer on Hevesi; will be led)

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