Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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Former Cuomo aide, Percoco, guilty of conspiracy; local officials call to pull CPV permits

Testing using diesel fuel has been halted at the plant

ALBANY – Former top aide to Governor Cuomo, Joseph Percoco was convicted of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and solicitation of bribes. He has been linked to the CPV power plant in Wawayanda, which is gearing up for full operation.

In the wake of the conviction by a federal jury, State Assemblyman James Skoufis (D, Woodbury) whose district includes Wawayanda said the governor should pull the plug on CPV immediately.

“I am saying that the plant should not become operational until, A, all of the permits are withdrawn, but, B, until there is a full investigation of every aspect of this plant including both state and local approvals,” he said.

Skoufis said the governor must “unequivocally and immediately to withdraw every single state permit for CPV and begin a full investigation into the plant and its approvals.”

Two years ago, Skoufis called on the attorney general to investigate the plant.

Following the jury verdict, Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus said the state should revoke all permits granted to CPV. “You cannot act illegally in the permit approval process and then keep the permits,” he said.

Neuhaus said the state should pass legislation creating a “presumption of invalidity for any project in which criminal conduct by public officials occurred and for which permits were issued.”

Meanwhile, the Orange County Industrial Development Agency said it will begin a “full audit of the CPV tax incentive and PILOT agreements to ensure full compliance.” The board statement said it has asked its attorney “to conduct a full review of the agreements and will consult with its New York State oversight agencies, to ensure compliance of all terms.”

Meanwhile, the executive director of the Reclaim New York organization, Brandon Muir, said the Percoco guilty verdict “confirms conclusively that bribery and corruption reached the highest levels of the governor’s office.” He said Cuomo’s “signature economic development efforts were for sale, not to create jobs and opportunity, but to pad the pockets of Joe Percoco.”

 


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