Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Preetmas Eve

Various outlets on the Cuomo corruption story today - first the NY Times:

Federal corruption charges were announced on Thursday against two former close aides to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a senior state official and six other people, in a devastating blow to the governor’s innermost circle and a repudiation of how his prized upstate economic development programs were managed.

The charges against the former aides, Joseph Percoco and Todd R. Howe, and the state official, Alain Kaloyeros, were the culmination of a long-running federal investigation into the Cuomo administration’s attempts to lure jobs and businesses to upstate New York’s limping economy by furnishing billions of dollars in state funds to developers from Buffalo to Albany. Mr. Howe is cooperating with the investigation, according to a 79-page criminal complaint unsealed on Thursday.

The charges stemmed from “two overlapping criminal schemes involving bribery, corruption and fraud in the award of hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts and other official state benefits,” federal prosecutors said in the complaint.

Politico NY:

ALBANY— Alain Kaloyeros, the now former CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, has been charged with three felony counts in connection to an alleged bid-rigging scheme, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday.

The complaint against Kaloyeros, 60, alleges he steered, or agreed to steer, the awarding of contracts to favorable companies, including Columbia Development, a real estate firm with extensive ties to the Capital Region.
The complaint alleges Kaloyeros improperly used the Request for Proposal process to direct contracts to certain firms for the construction of facilities for SUNY Poly. 
“A year-long investigation by my office found that Alain Kaloyeros allegedly used his perch atop SUNY Polytechnic [and] engaged in brazen bid-rigging, using taxpayer dollars and abusing his power to enrich himself and his cronies,” Schneiderman said at a press conference in Manhattan. “According to our criminal complaint, Kaloyeros gave insider information to friends and fixed the bidding process to ensure his cronies lucrative contracts, funded in part by the state of New York.
Kaloyeros, who is expected to be arraigned in Albany City Court on Friday, has been charged with three felony counts of Combination in Restraint of Trade and Competition. Joseph Nicolla, the head of Columbia Development, has been charged with one felony count of of Combination in Restraint of Trade and Competition and is expected to be arraigned on Monday.

Bharara was asked if Cuomo himself has any involvement in the case by a reporter who noted that he had once issued a statement absolving the governor of wrongdoing in connection with the early demise of the corruption-busting Moreland Commission. His reply:
“What I can say at this moment is that there are no allegations of any wrongdoing or misconduct by the governor anywhere in this complaint. That’s all I’m going to say.”
When pressed on whether it’s “realistic” to believe that the governor, who has a reputation of being something of a micromanager, did not know what his top aide was up to, Bharara said simply: “It’s not my job to comment on what is realistic or unrealistic.”

Bharara also said that this investigation, “as a general matter,” remains open.

Politically there's going to be some serious fallout for Cuomo and he's never going to want Sandra Lee to make "ziti" every again, but he appears to be skating on criminal charges, at least for now.

Whether that changes as a result of any of the fellows charged today dishing dirt on him, we'll just have to wait and see.

In any case Happy Preetmas Eve everybody.

Next up in the NY Corruption Season - Bill de Blasio and those donors.

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