25 September 2016

Pass the Popcorn

Pass the Popcorn
The corruption investigations have now swept up some former senior advisors to Governor Andrew Cuomo:
Federal and state prosecutors on Thursday announced charges against 10 men, including two onetime senior advisers to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in corruption and fraud cases involving state contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The charges followed a federal investigation into Buffalo Billion, a signature $1 billion economic development project of Cuomo aimed at revitalizing the area around the city of Buffalo, once an upstate industrial powerhouse.

Joseph Percoco, a former executive deputy secretary to the governor; Alain Kaloyeros, president of the State University of New York's Polytechnic Institute; and six others were charged in a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan.

Todd Howe, a lobbyist and an ex-adviser to Cuomo when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, pleaded guilty to federal charges and is cooperating. Richard Morvillo, his lawyer, said Howe "will testify truthfully if called upon."

Prosecutors said in one scheme, Percoco, whom they called Cuomo's "right-hand-man," sought $315,000 in bribes in exchange for offering help to two of Howe's corporate clients, an energy company and a Syracuse real estate developer.

In an overlapping scheme, they said, Kaloyeros, who oversaw a grant application process for Buffalo Billion and similar programs, and Howe, whom he hired to help develop projects, conspired to rig bids for contracts favoring two developers.
There is still nothing tying hizzonner to any of this, but it is increasingly clear that Cuomo was knowingly swimming in a sea of corruption, so some wetness is a logical conclusion.

I'm inclined to think that Cuomo's aspirations of national office have become significantly less likely over the past few years.


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