Comptroller on Cuomo's side

John O'Brien May 21, 2009, 4:46pm


ALBANY, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York's comptroller is urging New York City pension funds to adopt state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's code of conduct.

Tuesday, Bill Thompson threw his support behind Cuomo's latest cause, which has spread to more than 30 other states. Cuomo is alleging corruption in the handling of some public pension funds, and his code of conduct bans campaign contributions for those who handle public pension funds from those in a position to receive investments.

Private equity firm The Carlyle Group adopted the code last week.

"Our code of conduct will help eliminate the conflicts of interest and corruption inherent in a system that allows people to buy access to those holding the pension fund purse-strings," Cuomo said.

"By banning campaign contributions to those who have sway over pension funds and eliminating the third-party intermediaries that have become dens of corruption, we will ensure reform. I commend Carlyle for being the first to embrace the Reform Code and leading the industry toward critical change of the public pension investment system."

After Thompson's statement, the New York State Teachers Retirement System adopted the code.

"Hopefully, the NYSTRS announcement today will serve as another building block in our effort to promote needed reforms like banning the use of placement agents and eliminating campaign contributions to those who make or influence pension fund investment decisions," Cuomo said.

Hank Morris, an advisor to former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi, has been charged with soliciting kickbacks and political contributions from investment firms.

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