Former New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, center, arrives with...

Former New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, center, arrives with sons Andrew, left, and Daniel, right, at Manhattan State Supreme Court for sentencing in Friday, April 15, 2011 in New York. Hevesi was sentenced to one to four years in prison Friday for his leading role in an influence-peddling scandal at the state's massive pension fund. Credit: AP

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York state comptroller Alan Hevesi will have to spend time behind bars for his leading role in an influence-peddling scandal at the state’s massive pension fund.

The Democrat was sentenced today to 1 to 4 years in prison.

The 71-year-old pleaded guilty in October to a felony corruption charge. He admitted getting free travel and campaign contributions in exchange for helping a financier get to manage a $250 million share of the pension fund’s investment dollars.

Hevesi was the highest-ranking state official entangled in a sweeping probe of “pay-to-play” practices at the $141 billion pension fund.

Hevesi resigned in 2006 after pleading guilty to a felony for using state workers to chauffeur his wife. The pension case emerged after he left office.

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