Investigation into Buffalo Billion and Cuomo Aide Continues

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is set to begin investigation into whether Joe Percoco, a senior advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo, represented private sector clients who brought business before the state in the “Buffalo Billion.” The Governor’s office was subpoenaed on Friday, April 29, but he defends both his advisor and the Buffalo Billion program. WIVB spoke to attorney Paul Cambria about the case. The full story is available on the WIVB website.

Investigations underway

Governor Cuomo says that the upstate development program known as the Buffalo Billion “is being run well and their tax dollars are being protected.” WIVB reports that these funds include the payments that Percoco received from state contractors during his time running Governor Cuomo’s 2014 campaign. Cuomo is now seeking an internal review of the program as U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara continues his own investigation. Mr. Cambria told WIVB that “the federal government prosecutors are trying to see if someone in a public position, who had the ability to influence who got a bid, got paid to influence them and where the bid went.”

Consulting fees paid by Cuomo donors

According to WIVB, Percoco’s annual filing with a state ethics agency shows that he reported being paid “consulting fees” by CHA Consulting and COR Development. CHA is an Albany-based company that did civil engineering work on the Solarcity project. Both of these companies are Cuomo campaign donors and, WIVB reports, did business with the state through Cuomo administration programs. The investigation into this does not surprise Mr. Cambria. “Look at history. Look at the history in our community,” he said to WIVB. “Any time there’s been a lot of money and it’s a public project, there seems to be an investigation.”

About Paul J. Cambria, Jr.

The chair of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area, Mr. Cambria advises clients on criminal trials, criminal appeals, constitutional and First Amendment law, zoning and land use, antitrust, and professional licensing defense. He divides his time between the firm’s offices in Buffalo and Los Angeles.