Alain Kaloyeros

Rich Mitchell / Flickr

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal jury in New York has convicted key players of corruption in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” economic redevelopment program.

The jury in Manhattan returned its verdict Thursday after a month-long trial put a spotlight on how lucrative contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars were awarded for redevelopment projects aimed at revitalizing upstate New York, particularly Syracuse and Buffalo.

Prosecutors maintained the bidding process was corrupt and that deals were steered to favored developers. Defense lawyers said it was not.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News (file photo)

The jury could begin deliberating as early as next Wednesday in the federal corruption trial of the former head of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs.

Molinaro for Governor / Facebook

Prosecutors and lawyers for the defense gave opening statements Monday in the bid rigging trial of a former associate of Gov. Cuomo and two upstate development firms, who are accused of fraudulently obtaining lucrative taxpayer-funded state contracts. 

Meanwhile, Cuomo’s political opponents seized on the trial as evidence of what they say is corruption in the incumbent governor’s administration, while reform groups pressed for changes in New York’s laws.

Rich Mitchell / Flickr

Prosecutors Monday will present the second of two corruption cases against former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo in federal district court in Manhattan.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

2018 will be a year of criminal trials for former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as well as former leaders of the Legislature. Reform groups say they hope the lengthy court proceedings will spur lawmakers to enact some ethics reforms.

Six continuous months of corruption trials kick off on Jan. 22, when Cuomo’s former top aide Joe Percoco faces bribery charges for allegedly soliciting more than $300,000 from companies doing business with the state.

Blair Horner with the New York Public Interest Research Group said it will be a year unlike any other.

LtGovHochulNY / Flickr

State and local officials in the Mohawk Valley say a Danish company's decision to come to the SUNY Polytechnic Institute's campus in Marcy bodes well for the site's nanocenter. 

New York State Senate

The new year for the state legislature has begun in discord, with an absent governor and Republicans in the Senate vowing to take a harder line against Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

The year began without Cuomo, who abandoned the tradition of conducting a State of the State speech on the first day of the session in favor of giving a presentation on airport renovations to a group of business leaders in New York City. He’ll do speeches across the state later. 

LtGovHochulNY / Flickr

Officials in the Mohawk Valley are scrambling to find a replacement tenant for a semiconductor chip fabrication plant in Marcy after its main corporate partner dropped out. But officials say they are still optimistic about the future of the project.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The proposed nanotechnology center in Marcy is losing its main investor after the project has become entangled in the state corruption scandal involving the governor’s upstate development programs.

The Austrian company AMS, AG has pulled out of the 450-acre Nanocenter, a chip fabrication project at the campus of SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News (file photo)

Reform groups say in light of the criminal charges against some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former associates, there are a number of changes that should be made to stop more corruption in the future.

The federal charges of bid-rigging and bribery center on Cuomo’s key economic development programs, including the Buffalo Billion.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The beleaguered head of SUNY Polytechnic Institute has formally resigned from his post after being placed on leave without pay following criminal charges from state and federal officials.

Alain Kaloyeros, who is accused of helping to engineer bribery and kickback schemes involving state contracts for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs, on Monday sent State University officials a letter of resignation from his post as president of SUNY Polytechnic. The letter was first made public Tuesday.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is distancing himself from the corruption scandal within his administration and placing the blame on others. But some say Cuomo might be better off making some changes instead.

Cuomo has made a number of public appearances across the state, continuing to promote economic development efforts, just as he did before U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara charged several of Cuomo’s former close associates and two major real estate developers with bribery and fraud in connection with the Buffalo Billion and other projects.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making some changes to prevent any future bid-rigging in some of his major economic development projects. But critics on both the left and the right say Cuomo is failing to address the bigger picture — whether the $8.6 billion worth of programs are an effective use of public money.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

A former Cuomo administration official is among eight individuals named in a criminal complaint by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, and accused of carrying out kickback and bribery schemes over a period of several years. Many of those illegal acts, the complaint alleges, involve the governor’s much touted upstate economic development programs, including the Buffalo Billion.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

With the discussion surrounding a federal probe of contracts connected to the Buffalo Billion, there are concerns about possible effects on any related economic development projects throughout the upstate New York area.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in March that two companies would be coming to Rochester, creating hundreds of jobs as a result of the recent push into photonics, which involves the use of light in robotics, medical imaging and other fields.

File Photo
SUNY Polytechnic

Until recently, Alain Kaloyeros, leader of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, has been the darling of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration. But now, he’s one of the figures at the center of federal and state investigations into alleged pay-to-play schemes for economic development projects and is increasingly on the outs with the administration.