Hank Morris is a political operative known for his intense and aggressive style. He directed Charles E. Schumer's successful 1998 campaign to unseat Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato and even pushed his own mother, Rita, a retired professor, to run for Congress in 1992. She lost. He also advised Senator Dianne Feinstein's failed 1990 campaign for California governor.
But he was closest to Alan G. Hevesi. Mr. Morris helped shape Mr. Hevesi's rise to become comptroller of New York City and then state comptroller, and managed his unsuccessful run for mayor in 2001.
On March 19, 2009, Mr. Morris and David Loglisci, another advisor, were charged with 123 counts - including bribery, grand larceny, money laundering and fraud - in an indictment that said they had turned New York's $122 billion pension fund into a criminal enterprise. The scheme netted them and other Hevesi associates tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks from firms investing the fund's money, the indictment said. (Source: The New York Times, March 12, 2010.)
For years, Morris was a huge political player in the state of New York. A Democratic political consultant to some of the state's bigwigs, he was also in charge of helping the state determine how to invest it's public service pension fund.
Morris is accused of having pocketed more than $25 million in fees during that time and related to that work, specifically.
The state's attorney general recently brought 123 counts of fraud against Morris for his less-than-kosher endeavors.
The best part is that, after pleading not guilty to the charges, Morris actually tried to get his case dismissed, arguing that his pay-to-play scheme was little more than a "long standing practice" and that, while it was "unethical," it wasn't necessarily "illegal."