ALBANY – Officials say SUNY Polytechnic and its leader, Alain Kaloyeros, one of the point people for the Buffalo Billion program, is under investigation by the state attorney general over a contract awarded for a new dormitory building at the public college he runs in Albany.
A person familiar with the investigation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is looking at possible bid-rigging violations after just one company – Columbia Development – put in a proposal to build the dorm.
The project, which included a signed contract with Columbia, was canceled last fall after SUNY Polytechnic officials said the construction effort was going to be rebid. It appears the scrubbing of the deal came about two months after Schneiderman issued subpoenas to the public college and the developer for information about the contract process.
Kaloyeros has been a close advisor to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on upstate economic development issues, and Cuomo personally tapped him to handle mega-projects such as the SolarCity plant under construction in South Buffalo. Columbia is a large developer and builder of projects in the Albany area, including a sprawling new building at the SUNY Polytechnic campus on the west side of Albany. Between corporate contributions and those from individuals tied to the company, it has been a reliable donor to Cuomo in recent years.
Hey, you know that project we were going do but we got subpoenas on it?
Let's not do that anymore, okay.
And there's more trouble in CuomoLand:
The source who spoke to The News said the dorm contract award is not the only matter Schneiderman is looking at involving SUNY Polytechnic; the source declined to elaborate. Also, the person said U.S. Attorney General Preet Bharara is aware of Schneiderman’s probe and that the state investigation of the dorm project and Bharara’s expanding Buffalo Billion investigation is “all inter-connected.” In the Buffalo Billion probe that began with an inquiry after the awarding of the RiverBend project that will house a future SolarCity plant, Bharara issued subpoenas to SUNY Polytechnic and Cuomo’s economic development agency, as well as Buffalo firms LPCiminelli and McGuire Development.
Key takeaway from all of this?
"Schneiderman’s probe and the state investigation of the dorm project and Bharara’s expanding Buffalo Billion investigation is 'all inter-connected.'”
At the very least, Cuomo's going to have some serious political fallout to deal with when all the "interconnected" investigations come to a close and some of Cuomo's closest allies and former aides get carted off in handcuffs.