Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, May 4, 2015

After Skelos Arrest, Attention Turns To The Third Amigo

There's the tampering and/or obstruction angle, to be sure, but there's also the plain old corruption angle too:

Pro Publica reported in June 2014 that Cuomo had received $800,000 from Glenwood Management through various LLC's since 2011, but he has benefited a lot more since (as noted in the Bill Mahoney tweet above) if you factor in how much cash Glenwood president and CEO Leonard Litwin gave to not only Cuomo but the state Democratic Party and Kathy Hochul's campaign for lieutenant governor:

Billionaire real estate magnate Leonard Litwin has outspent all political donors.

The president and chief executive officer of Long Island-based Glenwood Management donated $1 million to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign. Litwin also donated almost a combined $500,000 to the state Democratic Party and Kathy Hochul’s campaign for lieutenant governor, according to data from the New York Public Interest Research Group cited by Crain’s.

The Glenwood/Litwin angle is important - especially now that Litwin's bagman is confirmed to be cooperating with the feds.

Here is David Sirota at IBTimes on the Cuomo/Litwin/Glenwood connection:

Neither Cuomo's office nor Glenwood Management responded to International Business Times' request for comment about the governor's relationship with Litwin. But documents reviewed by IBTimes illustrate Cuomo’s role in the developer's state business.

The Cuomo-run New York State Housing Finance Agency, for instance, approved a $260 million state-supported low-interest loan in 2014 to finance Glenwood’s new luxury apartment building in midtown Manhattan. At the time the loan to Glenwood was approved, the NYHFA was headed by Cuomo appointee Bill Mulrow, an executive and registered lobbyist at Blackstone, a private equity and real estate firm. Mulrow was just appointed to be the governor’s chief of staff. According to NYHFA documents, Glenwood also has had other business with the agency.

Similarly, Cuomo in 2011 signed Silver-backed legislation reauthorizing a then-expired property tax abatement for real estate developers called the 421a program. Cuomo also signed an extension of that program in 2013. Litwin’s firm used the 421a program for its Midtown Manhattan project, according to the New York Times. Glenwood has also used the 421a tax break for some of its other properties in the city.

In 2014, Cuomo shut down the Moreland Commission, an anti-corruption panel that was examining the relationship between lawmakers and the real estate industry. The governor’s top aide at time, Larry Schwartz, called commission members to stop them from subpoenaing the Real Estate Board of New York, of which Litwin is the lifetime “honorary chairman.”

And then there was this non-Glenwood-related real estate funkiness:

Another real estate developer, the Extell Development Co., has also given extensively to Cuomo through LLCs, including two donations last year that were flagged by the Moreland Commission.
Two LLCs affiliated with Extell gave the governor a total of $100,000 on Jan. 28, 2013—two days before Cuomo signed legislation that granted a tax break to Extell's One57 skyscraper in Manhattan, as well as properties owned by four other developers. Two other LLCs with ties to Extell gave Cuomo another $100,000 six months later. (The contributions were first reported last year by The Daily News.)


There is no evidence that Cuomo played any role in inserting the tax breaks. Without naming Extell or Cuomo, however, the Moreland Commission called out the developers' donations, saying they created "the appearance of a relationship between large donations and legislation that specifically benefits large donors."

"Our investigation continues and we draw no premature conclusions" about whether the tax breaks were improper, the commission wrote in its December report, "but it is clear that the combination of very large campaign contributions and very narrowly targeted benefits to those same donors creates an appearance of impropriety that undermines public trust in our elected representatives."

That investigation didn't continue, at least not by the Moreland Commission, because Cuomo abruptly shut it down.

But Preet Bharara and the feds picked up the Moreland files, so perhaps that investigation continued in another guise?

More from Preet:

What to stay tuned for?

Clearly Cuomo's ties to Leonard Litwin and Glenwood Management and just what he did in return for the campaign largesse, as well as his tampering in the Moreland Commission investigations, including putting the kibosh on investigations into his donors, and finally his shutting down of the commission as part of the budget deal with the now indicted Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos.

US Attorney Preet Bharara has taken down two of the three amigos in the fabled Albany room.

Could he take down the third?


  1. Another Quid Pro Quomo deal that needs to be looked at is his position on Cheater Schools. In January 2014 Cuomo gave his State of the State speech and budget address and never mentioned Cheater Schools. Mid-session he gets a $800K donation from the Cheater Schools groups and next thing you know expanding Cheaters is his highest legislative priority. A few days after he pockets the cash Quid Pro Quomo hosts a Evil Moscow rally on the state steps. What a whore--selling out kids! Shameful!

  2. Sheriff Andy on the horn to Oz asking if he can get protection from Vern Schillinger and friends....

  3. What about that crony book deal with Murdoch? Three thousand slimy books for $700,000.......holy bookshit batman!

  4. How about the RICO statute Preet Bharara? Or are you pussy?

  5. Schadenfreude x infinity