Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wiretaps On Cuomo?

This is from the Buffalo Chronicle, a not-exactly reliable source of news, so take this with a huge pile of salt:

Political operatives from both parties expect that Governor Andrew Cuomo will be indicted by the US Attorney’s office on January 2nd of next year. Preet Bharara is said to have “hundreds of hours” of wire taps probing the Governor, his operatives, and some of his largest campaign contributors. He has enough evidence relating to wire fraud, theft of honest services, and conspiracy to commit fraud “to hand down a dozen indictments tomorrow.”

But Bharara, sources say, is waiting for the opening of the next legislative session for strategic reasons. Such a jaw dropping political development would paralyze Albany and — in the event that Cuomo refuses to immediately resign — would kill any legislative movement out of fear of those negotiations being scrutinized and the uncertainty around the governor’s ability to deliver on any deal.

I wouldn't doubt that there are wiretaps of some of the players in the Buffalo Billion Project - here is a story from DNAinfo back in May that reported the Silver investigation prompted new wiretaps on potential targets:

NEW YORK — Federal investigators have begun wiretapping a new set of potential targets as a result of the probe that led to the indictment off former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, DNAinfo has learned.

Investigators in the U.S. Attorney's office and the FBI obtained court authorization to eavesdrop on an ever-expanding group of possible corrupt government officials and those who do business with them, including lawyers, lobbyists and contractors, sources said.

The targets came to light during the two-year investigation of the powerful state Assembly leader — during which federal corruption fighters found “numerous new tentacles” to pursue, sources said. 
The feds did not utilize wiretaps on Silver as part of the investigation that led to the indictment of the 72-year-old Manhattan lawmaker.

But federal authorities were "already listening to numerous people in various places" on unrelated investigations before looking into Silver, and his "case provided a bunch of new places to wiretap,” a law enforcement source told "On The Inside."

The revelation that there is a new wave of federal eavesdropping from the speaker’s probe is certain to rattle an already-anxious Albany, where dozens of lawmakers have been convicted on corruption charges, many of them secretly caught on tape.

In recent years, secret recordings and wiretaps have helped nail lawmakers on corruption-related charges including state Sen. Malcolm Smith, Councilman Daniel Halloran, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson and Assemblyman Nelson Castro.

“Stay tuned,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara warned state legislators after announcing Silver’s indictment in February.

Two of the targets of those new wiretaps?

Federal prosecutors Monday revealed that they had a wiretap on the cellphone of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos for 2 1/2 months during their corruption probe of the Republican power broker and his son, Adam.

The government also said that it tapped one Adam Skelos cellphone for four months and another for one month, and secretly gathered 2,400 audio files from father and son.

I'm dubious that Cuomo himself was wiretapped, but I could see Ciminelli or some of the other contractors in the Buffalo Billion case being wiretapped - same goes for employees at SUNY Polytechnic, especially Alain Kaloyeros.

And what got picked up on those wiretaps, well, that's anybody's guess.

In the past, a story about there being "hundreds of hours" of wiretaps of the governor, his operatives and his contractors wouldn't have been in the least believable, but these days. you can't dismiss it totally.

So while I'm dubious of the validity of the Chronicle story about Cuomo, I do think the idea that there were wiretaps on some of the other players involved in state contracting bears watching.

After all, after the Silver indictment, they "obtained court authorization to eavesdrop on an ever-expanding group of possible corrupt government officials and those who do business with them, including lawyers, lobbyists and contractors" - and that sounds exactly like what we're looking at with SUNY Polytechnic and the Kaloyeros business.


  1. Problem with Buffalo Chronicle is the guy writing it is out of his fucking gourd. A few weeks back he was seen with another local nutjob papering the windshields of cars with flyers in support of a disgraced Housing Authority hack who'd been recorded N-bombing every Black politician in Buffalo. These two also entered the office of a City Hall adversary and attempted to create a ruckus with the aim of charging him with assault. Batshit crazy top to bottom. Their candidate got smoked in the primary. Joe Mascia is his name. Less than Zero Cred.

    1. I know - he's nuts and full of shit to boot.

      I used his post as a jumping off point for the DNAinfo story back in May that was legit.

      That DNAinfo piece makes me wonder who is wiretapped and if anybody in the Buffalo Billion is.

      But yeah, the Chronicle thing - most likely made up.