The Buffalo News:
A massive pay-to-play scheme involving alleged bid rigging of state contracts involving hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money was outlined by federal prosecutors Thursday in a case that targets longtime advisers and major donors of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Manhattan-based U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s case alleges bribery, extortion and tax evasion. It also muddies a picture of ethical cleanliness that Cuomo has sought to portray of his administration since taking office in 2011.
Bharara, the prosecutor who has brought high-profile and successful cases against a lineup of state legislators, said Albany’s plague of corruption has now touched the executive branch of government.
“I really do hope that there’s a trial in this case so all New Yorkers can see in gory detail what their state government has been up to,” Bharara said in unveiling the Justice Department’s case against nine people, including Cuomo advisers Joseph Percoco and Todd R. Howe, and Alain E. Kaloyeros, president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute.
Louis P. Ciminelli, the Buffalo developer who is chairman and CEO of LPCiminelli, also is accused in the pay-to-play scheme. But allegations stretch across the state