Cuomo Says No Reason to Question His Administration in the...
Cuomo Says No Reason to Question His Administration in the Buffalo Billion Investigation [Photo: Diana Robinson, flickr]
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that neither he nor his staff have been questioned or subpoenaed as part of a federal probe into his signature economic development project, the Buffalo Billion.
The Democratic governor also said he has no reason to question if contracts given out as part of the project were handled appropriately. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is reportedly investigating the Buffalo Billion, an effort to jumpstart the city's economy that saw large state grants go to a company run by a Cuomo donor.
Cuomo said he isn't reviewing the program or the contracts himself because of the ongoing federal investigation, which was first reported last month by the New York Post.
"If you ask an attorney, `if a U.S. attorney is investigating, is it smart for somebody else to go ask questions about it,' they would say no," he said.
But Cuomo argued that the mere existence of an investigation doesn't necessarily mean anything inappropriate occurred. He noted that while serving as New York attorney general he often sent out subpoenas based on anonymous tips or something he read or heard - only for the investigation to go nowhere.
"I did hundreds of quote-unquote investigations where I sent out a subpoena because I read something or heard something and you wanted to follow up," Cuomo said. "That does not mean that anything was awry, right? I did hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of subpoenas; maybe one out of 10, one out of 20 actually amounted to anything."
Bharara has not commented on the investigation.