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Judge won't drop charges against NY pension consultant

A judge has refused to toss out most of the charges against a political consultant accused of conspiring with New York officials to drain $19 million in undeserved fees from the state pension fund.

Prosecutors say Hank Morris and accomplices in the state comptroller's office extracted millions of dollars in sham "placement fees" from companies seeking contracts to manage the retirement fund's assets.

New York Judge Lewis Bart Stone yesterday dismissed 13 of the 90 counts against Morris, but left the bulk of the case standing.

He said the attorney general's office had presented enough evidence of a "corrupt operation" to sustain the case.

Morris says he is innocent.

He was a longtime adviser to former state comptroller Alan Hevesi, who has not been charged. - AP

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