One Albany player quipped last week after Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced widely publicized monetary settlements in pension-investment probes with lobbyists Patricia Lynch and Jerry Weiss: "He's replaced pay-to-play with pay-to-stay-away."

Under one agreement Lynch, once Assembly Sheldon Silver's top adviser, pays $500,000 to the state and accepts a five-year ban from appearing before the state comptroller. Under another, Weiss, who'd contributed to Cuomo's campaign and was an old friend of Gov. Mario Cuomo, pays $78,000. The announcements prompted intense insider chatter in Capitol hallways over motives and angles, while a former state employee said simply: "How can he go wrong going after lobbyists?"

- Dan Janison

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