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Chevron says NY official abused shareholder power

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..::WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas::..
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NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli

Chevron Corp. has asked New York's ethics commission to investigate state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The energy giant claims that as trustee of the $150 billion state pension fund, he improperly pushed to settle an $18 billion Ecuadorean court claim for environmental damage in the Amazon rainforest.

San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron says that the state fund owns more than $800 million in Chevron stock and that DiNapoli received more than $60,000 in campaign contributions from supporters of the plaintiffs in the Ecuadorean lawsuit. Chevron also says DiNapoli's office received offers of trips to Ecuador, political benefits and access to celebrities.

DiNapoli says the allegations are baseless. He has said he joined with 39 other big investors in May to urge Chevron to settle the legal fight.

The company says liability was settled by remediation and an old agreement with Ecuador.

© 2012 AP

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.