Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara publicly put Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo on notice Sunday that he’s actively searching for evidence of corruption in their branches of government.
“We have found that corruption is rife in a lot of institutions in New York and throughout New York,” Bharara said during a national TV interview.
“That’s true in the legislature. It’s also the case that there’s corruption, we believe, in the executive branches as well. And we’ll ferret it out wherever we find it.”
Bharara’s stinging comments on ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” come amid probes by his office into fund-raising efforts by Mayor de Blasio and suspected bid-rigging in state-funded development projects.
They also followed an interview last month in which Bharara bristled at the suggestion that Cuomo had been cleared of wrongdoing when Bharara declined to charge him for unexpectedly shutting down the anti-corruption Moreland Commission in 2014.
“Nobody gave a clean bill of health to anybody. A non-indictment is not an endorsement of anyone’s conduct,” Bharara told the New Yorker in what the magazine described as “an uncharacteristically icy tone.”
Cuomo's administration is the subject of a massive federal investigation into his economic development projects all over the state.
Cuomo's top former aide, Joe Percoco, is one focus of that investigation.
A second is another former Cuomo aide and close associate, Todd Howe.
A third is SUNY Poly head Alain Kaloyeros, Cuomo's man in charge of the economic development projects.
As the Post piece notes, de Blasio is the subject of a few investigations too.
The election is coming in November, so if anything is going to come of these investigations, it will come before then.
It's not a mistake that Bharara was on ABC News this morning to talk about corruption in the executive branches in this state.
That's a little head nod that something's coming soon.
We know that one of de Blasio's fund raisers is cooperating with the feds, so my guess is, the de Blasio investigations will get movement first.
But there's a lot going on with the Cuomo investigations too.
There's no certainty that Cuomo's going to go down, but given the subpoenas that went out across the state as part of the investigation into his economic development programs, you can pretty much bet some of those associates of his are going down.
And there's an outside chance that after some squeezing, some of those associates will have tales to trade to prosecutors for lighter sentences.
One way or another, it's beginning to sound a lot like Preetmas.