FRANKFORT, Ky.—Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan who recently secured the convictions of two top New York lawmakers, on Wednesday said the blame for corruption lies not only with bad actors but also with the “good people” who don’t try to stop it.
“People knew, and did nothing,” said Mr. Bharara, referring to the corruption cases in Albany during a speech before the Kentucky Legislature. “This, perhaps, is the most unfortunate feature of the status quo in my home state—the deafening silence of the many individuals who…saw something and said nothing.”
Mr. Bharara has made no secret of his intent to clean up Albany, which he has called a “caldron of corruption.”
“What has been going on in New York of late is simultaneously heartbreaking, head-scratching and comic,” Mr. Bharara told the Kentucky lawmakers.
He told the legislators that federal law doesn’t require an explicit quid-pro-quo, that it doesn’t matter if the official act was good for the community, or if it was done for a friend.
"People knew and did nothing" - hmm, that could refer to the guy who shut down the Moreland Commission that was investigating now-convicted felons Silver and Skelos in return for a budget deal.
"Federal law doesn't require an explicit quid pro quo" - that does have some ramifications for any investigations going on, including the one into the Buffalo Billion Project and the governor's donors.
Again, perhaps Bharara ultimately decides that he;s got nothing on the governor and Cuomo walks.
But all that frenetic activity from the governor the past few weeks, criss-crossing the state, imposing mandates, raising minimum wages, declaring major new transportation projects, handing out development millions to Rochester - that has got the deal of a very nervous governor trying to get some positive headlines in case something very negative happens.