Friday, December 18, 2009


In the New York Times you'll find a number of articles exposing the 2,700 unregistered bank accounts dotted throughout the City connected to numerous city agencies. Our favorite District Attorney, Robert Morgenthau, seems to have been right in the middle of this mess.

The Times claims "City Hall understood the practice was widespread earlier this month when the mayor said that a review by the city’s Finance Department had found that Mr. Morgenthau’s office had dozens of “hidden” accounts containing $174 million."

A statement from Jason Post in Bloomberg's office: "The administration believed it was fair to single out the district attorney’s office for criticism because Mr. Morgenthau had considerably more money in the accounts than the other city agencies, much more than his own $97 million budget. None were registered with the city comptroller’s office, as required by law."

This only becomes an issue in our world of upstate politics because so many of those who wish to run for a number of offices in Ulster County, have spent time working in the offices of DA Morgenthau in some form. It's best to be aware as this case goes further.

Most of the money in Mr. Morgenthau’s accounts came from the settlement of criminal cases against corporate defendants. Bloomberg has been at odds with Morgenthau for a number of years so this doesnt take any of us by surprize. What is shocking is the huge amount that was stowed away in these accounts. Now Paterson and Bloomberg are set to share the found loot 50/50.

Michael Cardozo, NYC's corporation counsel, told Morgenthau the city would not go public about those "secret" accounts until after he left office in January. Is it January already?


Anonymous said...

Just weeks ago, Morganthau accepted a plea from James Ortenzio, the former chairman of the Hudson River Park Trust, for not paying taxes on bribes (consulting fees) from the operator of the heliport in the Hudson River Park, from which a helicopter was recently hit by a plane. Ortenzio was chair of the Manhattan Republican Committee and used the Park as a Republican Party pay pad. Morganthau agreed to probation for the grafter, suggesting that corruption is only a minor felony in Manhattan.

Anonymous said...

Few Americans really understand just how much freedom Judges and the DA, the ADA’s, and the police have to twist and interpret the laws, when they are not simply disregarding them.
While I am not suggesting that Morgenthau was any worse than any other Manhattan DA, the reality is that his power and will to change any of the serious deficiencies of the system was limited. Both by a bureaucrats’ unwillingness to look too deeply into anything that functions, lest it become obvious that the entire system is energized by the despair and expense of the people it is supposed to serve. Also because as long as there was no demand for change, expending energy and money on it was considered a waste.

Anonymous said...

While Morgy did many good things,in recent years he failed to focus on many of the bread and butter issues a DA deals with daily in any other county.

I am also concerned that Vance doesn't have a clue of what he’s getting into.

Anonymous said...

How many years will it take before the "hidden loot" will be sent to the proper places?