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Hawkins on Guilty Verdicts in Buffalo Billion

Hawkins on Guilty Verdicts in Buffalo Billion

For immediate release: July 12, 2018

Statement of Howie Hawkins on Guilty Verdicts in Buffalo Billion Trial

We Need an Independent Moreland Commission to Investigate Corruption within the Cuomo Administration

The guilty verdicts in the Buffalo Billion Trial are no surprise. The bid-rigging was obvious from the media reports on the trial.

Along with the Percocco conviction, it shows a systemic pattern of corruption within the Cuomo administration that demands an outside independent investigation. When the Moreland Commission began to ask questions about the relationship between his many major donors, especially from the real estate industry, and the contracts, subsidies, and regulatory favors he issued, he immediately moved to shut it down. 

The pattern of bid rigging in the recent trial raises grave concerns about how many other bids were rigged by these and other pay-to-play contributors to Cuomo. For example, why did Cor Development’s Aiello and Gerardi, guilty in this case, get the former public housing project Kennedy Square in Syracuse in a no-bid, no-money-down transfer from ESD to SUNY Upstate Medical to Cor Development? All the people guilty in this trial, plus Cuomo and Percoco, were here in Syracuse to tout that deal.

It is time to reopen a Moreland Commission on Public Corruption and let it do its work without the governor shutting it down when it gets close to him. I believe Preet Bharara might be available.

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