NY Consultant Faces 123-Count Indictment

Hank Morris, a New York-based Democratic consultant and former advisor to Sen.

Hank Morris, a New York-based Democratic consultant and former advisor to Sen. Chuck Schumer, was arrested Thursday on corruption charges. A 123-count indictment charges Morris and David Loglisci, a political aide to former New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi, with accepting bribes to steer state pension fund investments. From the NY Daily News

Hank Morris and David Loglisci were arrested, handcuffed and fingerprinted before pleading not guilty in Manhattan state Supreme Court before Judge Lewis Bart Stone.A 123-count indictment unsealed this morning - and first reported in the Daily News - charged the men with "enterprise corruption" for a three-year scheme that yielded $35 million in fraudulent fees. The Securities and Exchange Commission is also bringing civil charges. Hevesi, who resigned in 2006 just before pleading guilty to an unrelated felony, was not charged.

The charges come after a two year investigation by the New York Attorney General's office. Morris has long been one of New York’s top consultants and was Hevesi’s most trusted political advisor during his 2001 run for New York City Mayor and his campaigns for comptroller. This from a 2001 New York Observer profile of Morris…

A Hands-On Guy, Mr. Morris enthusiastically involves himself in every facet of a campaign. There's the fundraising, the here's-why-I-can-win sales pitch to line up endorsements, the berating of reporters, the occasional spreading of rumors to rattle opponents. To hear Mr. Morris' colleagues tell it, he is particularly adept at these types of tactics; he seems to excel at the subterranean psychological warfare that campaigns wage against one another. His ads sometimes seem designed not just to reach voters, but to shake up consultants in the rival camp. His most oft-cited effort in this regard was a 1998 ad for Charles Schumer assailing Alfonse D'Amato with the tag line: "Too many lies for too long." Mr. Morris' mystique is such that his rivals tend to get spooked by him–even if they're not exactly sure what he's up to. "Every time I get on the phone with someone, he's just gotten off the phone with Hank Morris," said one colleague who is working the phones on behalf of another Mayoral candidate.

Shane D'Aprile is senior editor at Politics magazine. sdaprile@politicsmagazine.com

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