Cuomo cam­paign to 'set aside' de­vel­oper cash

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By David Klep­per

Gov. An­drew Cuomo’s re-elec­tion cam­paign will “set aside” $350,00 it got from de­vel­op­ers fac­ing cor­rup­tion charges.

Demo­cratic New York Gov. An­drew Cuomo’s re-elec­tion cam­paign will “set aside” $350,000 it re­ceived from de­vel­op­ers fac­ing fed­eral cor­rup­tion charges — while two other elected of­fi­cials plan to ei­ther give con­tri­bu­tions back or do­nate them to char­ity.

Cuomo said Wednes­day that the money will be kept in a sep­a­rate ac­count pend­ing the out­come of the case. The money would then be avail­able if pros­e­cu­tors seek their for­fei­ture fol­low­ing a con­vic­tion, he said.

“It makes no sense to me to give the money back to the peo­ple who have been charged. Why would we want to en­rich them?” Cuomo told re­porters. “We put the money in a seg­re­gated ac­count. We’ll wait for the dis­po­si­tion of the case.”

Two other Demo­cratic of­fi­cials who also re­ceived con­tri­bu­tions from de­vel­op­ers fac­ing charges aren’t wait­ing for the out­come to rid them­selves of the cash.

State Comp­trol­ler Tom DiNapoli’s cam­paign said it will re­turn $23,700 in con­tri­bu­tions from the de­vel­op­ers.

At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric Sch­nei­der­man also re­ceived $15,722 in con­tri­bu­tions from LPCiminelli, as well as from a third de­vel­oper, Columbia De­vel­op­ment, fac­ing charges in a re­lated state probe. His cam­paign said Wednes­day that it will do­nate the money to a char­ity.

The charges all re­late to a broader bribery and bidrig­ging case that in­volves two top ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials and ex­ec­u­tives at com­pa­nies with busi­ness be­fore the state.

Five ex­ec­u­tives at Buf­falo-based LPCiminelli and Syra­cuse-based COR De­vel­op­ment face fed­eral al­le­ga­tions they worked to rig bids for lu­cra­tive con­tracts awarded by the Cuomo ad­min­is­tra­tion. At­tor­neys for COR De­vel­op­ment ex­ec­u­tives Steven Aiello and Joseph Ger­ardi, as well as LPCiminelli ex­ec­u­tives Michael Laip­ple, Kevin Schuler and CEO Louis Ciminelli, have said their clients are in­no­cent.

Oth­ers charged in­clude for­mer top Cuomo aide Joe Per­coco and State Univer­sity of New York Polytech­nic In­sti­tute Pres­i­dent Alain Kaloyeros.

Their at­tor­neys have also said their clients are in­no­cent.

Joseph Ni­colla, pres­i­dent of Columbia De­vel­op­ment, faces state charges that he worked with Kaloyeros to en­sure his com­pany won the con­tract for a stu­dent hous­ing project. He pleaded not guilty on Mon­day.

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