(WXXI News & AP) New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says bid-rigging allegations related to Governor Andrew Cuomo's economic development programs show stronger oversight is needed.
DiNapoli says more robust scrutiny of the way public money was spent might have prevented the alleged acts from occurring.
“When you use these non-profits, it’s off the books, you really don’t know how the money is being spent. Obviously, the indications indicate people took advantage of that; I’d like more of a process, similar to what we do for regular state agencies where there’s adequate review, adequate transparency, that’s what was lacking in this case,” DiNapoli told WXXI News.
DiNapoli says his office could help bring back accountability to some of these projects.
“I think our office is uniquely set up to provide that kind of oversight and….again, because of the way they managed this, we were cut out of that process.”
DiNapoli would like to see the governor and state legislature consider expanding the role of the comptroller's office to help with oversight of the economic development projects, starting with the comptroller’s authority to review SUNY construction contracts.
Former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros and executives at prominent development firms are charged in the case, which probed alleged bid rigging and bribery in the Buffalo Billion and other upstate economic development initiatives. Attorneys for the men say their clients are innocent.