Federal prosecutors investigating Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s marquee program to revitalize Buffalo’s economy have been examining how the government-funded projects were awarded, and whether state elected officials played a role in choosing who would benefit from the major infusion of funds.Some of the contours of the inquiry were made clear in a federal grand jury subpoena served on the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, which has played a central role in administering the governor’s program, known as the Buffalo Billion. The subpoena was one of a number issued in recent months, according to people with knowledge of the matter. One of the other subpoenas went to Empire State Development, New York State’s economic development agency, which is providing funding for the program.People with knowledge of the subpoena to SUNY Polytechnic described its contents in detail to The New York Times.One area of interest, according to these people, who were not authorized to discuss the subpoena, was a 2013 request for proposals that was written in a way that would have disqualified many possible bidders, and favored a construction company whose chief executive had donated tens of thousands of dollars to Mr. Cuomo. The subpoena also sought information about the hiring of staff members who would develop requests for proposals and distribute funds for Buffalo Billion projects.
The subpoena, issued on June 26, provides the most detailed look yet at the investigation’s scope, and listed the possible crimes that are the subject of the inquiry: mail and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
The feds mean business:
The subpoena to SUNY Polytechnic directed the institution to respond to a senior criminal investigator who has worked on some of Mr. Bharara’s highest-profile corruption cases, including the pending case against Mr. Silver, the former Assembly speaker.
And they're aiming directly at Cuomo donors:
The subpoena to SUNY Polytechnic indicated that at least three state-funded projects from the Buffalo Billion are of interest to federal authorities.One is the governor’s flagship Buffalo project, a solar panel factory for SolarCity, whose chairman is Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Motors. Mr. Cuomo has pledged to invest $750 million on this, and claimed it would create 5,000 jobs, 3,000 of which would be in Western New York. Construction of this facility is underway and it could open in early 2016, officials have said.Federal authorities have also asked for records related to a Buffalo pharmaceutical research center and an information technology facility for IBM.
And just in case you think this won't get near Cuomo, think again - the Times reports that Cuomo "exerts tremendous control" over ESDC:
Governor Cuomo has turned to Empire State Development, the state economic development agency, to provide funding for Buffalo Billion projects. The governor exerts tremendous control over the agency. SUNY Polytechnic has paired with the state on Buffalo Billion projects, and Alain E. Kaloyeros, the institution’s president, has provided the governor with strategic advice on various related issues. The institution, in turn, used a nonprofit corporation called Fort Schuyler Management Corp., which is affiliated with SUNY Polytechnic, to manage the bidding process for some Buffalo Billion projects.
I'll remind you once again, these leaks don't just happen - they're part of the rollout plan Bharara has for getting the public ready for criminal charges against high level public officials.
I'd have to say, looking closely at this latest leak, that Cuomo's got trouble coming down the pike very, very soon.
Bharara appears to be closing in on people right around Cuomo.