ALBANY—State lawmakers are now seriously contemplating the loss of two major housing programs, and suggested that federal prosecutors hamstrung their ability to cut a deal.
With two scheduled session days remaining before the programs expire Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo and other legislators began speaking more openly about how the cloud of scandal—including the indictment of both legislative leaders—has made it more difficult to get things done.
“If there was a different time and a different climate, I might just put everyone in a room and try to negotiate this myself. But with this climate in Albany, it's not conducive to that,” Cuomo told reporters after a rally.
Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of Manhattan, brought charges against both Assemblyman Sheldon Silver and State Senator Dean Skelos that prompted their replacement as members of the infamous “three men in a room.” The charges against both former leaders stemmed, in part, from their interactions with executives at Glenwood Management, a real estate development firm and major political donor that is heavily interested in rent regulations and the 421-a property tax subsidy program. Both expire June 15.
As Capital had reported, Cuomo confirmed on Wednesday that he is now seeking a short-term, straight extension of the 421-a program. The governor told reporters after a rally that it was “under a microscope” and that any potential changes would “benefit some political interest” and “generate snarky news pieces.”
Sorry Andy, it's not Preet's fault you've taken boatloads of cash from Glenwood in return for sweetheart deals in the past and now worry that you're next for arrest.
Nor is it Preet's fault you lied, er, forgot, about those meetings you had with Glenwood's bagman (now known as "Cooperating Witness-1" in the Skelos case) the last time these housing programs were set to expire.
If rent regulations expire and "mayhem" ensues (as you said would happen yesterday), that's your fault, not Preet's.