Federal Judge Valerie Caproni sentenced former state economic-development czar Alain Kaloyeros to 3-and-a-half years in prison Tuesday, ending one major chapter in the Cuomo corruption scandals. We wish we could be sure it’s the final chapter.
Already sentenced: Developers Louis Ciminelli (28 months), Joseph Gerardi (2-and-a-half years) and Steven Aiello (three years), all three major Cuomo donors. Joe Percoco, once Gov. Cuomo’s right-hand man, got six years. Todd Howe, a lifelong Cuomo crony who took a plea deal, still awaits sentence.
Meanwhile, the three main projects involved — a $750 million solar-panel plant in Buffalo, the $15 million Central New York film hub in Syracuse and a $90 million high-tech factory in DeWitt — remain troubled.
Tesla had to buy SolarCity to rescue it from bankruptcy, and that plant is still half-empty. The film hub got sold to the county for $1; the DeWitt factory needed $15 million more in state cash for retooling after the original tenant walked away.
As a whole, all the gov’s “AndyLand” projects (even the non-scandal-tarred ones) will never produce all the jobs once promised, let alone the larger upstate economic revival Cuomo pretends he’s fostered.
Yes, Team Cuomo has instituted lots of new internal controls to prevent such naked corruption. But it resists new external oversight — even quashing efforts to let the state comptroller’s office play a serious role.
All this when, as the Empire Center’s EJ McMahon has noted, the state Constitution bans any gift or loan of government money to private corporations. The end-running of that restriction predates Cuomo by many decades, yet that’s truly the fundamental corruption here — and one that no state leader would even think of touching.
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