New York - US Attorney Expands Anti-Corruption Probe To Cuomo's Buffalo Billion Project
New York, NY - Despite the fact that he is now infringing on the jurisdiction of Western District of New York US Attorney Bill Hochul, Southern District of New York US Attorney Preet Bharara has expanded his current anti-corruption investigation some 250 miles outside his own district and is now targeting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion revitalization project.
NYPOST.com (http://bit.ly/1KV6lXO) reports that Bharara’s move—-which according to one source is focusing on the “bidding process” and “communications between contractors and state officials”—-has left some unanswered questions, most notably as to whether or not Buffalo US Attorney Bill Hochul may have recused himself from the investigation due to the fact that his wife, Kathy Hochul, is currently Cuomo’s lieutenant governor.
According to a source, subpoenas have already been issued by Bharara’s office to several contracting firms involved in the Buffalo Billion project.
Earlier this year, a report by the nonprofit Investigative Post cited difficulty in obtaining records with regard to contracting awards for the project under the Freedom of Information Law, while ultimately calling the project a “costly experiment in economic development that is beset by secrecy and politics.”
Included in the Post’s report was that a Buffalo Billion contractor, Louis Ciminelli, not only contributed $96,500 to Cuomo’s two gubernatorial campaigns, but was the beneficiary of a bidding process which stipulated that any contracting applicants bidding had to have “over 50 years of proven experience”—-a stipulation only Ciminelli’s company could meet.
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