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Politics and Government

NY state economic development chair says changes to bidding expected this week

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Matt Ryan
/
WMHT File Photo
Capitol correspondent Karen DeWitt interviews Empire State Development Chairman Howard Zemsky

Recommendations on how to go forward with some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development contracts tainted by scandal are expected to be out soon, according to the governor’s economic development chairman.

Buffalo businessman and Empire State Development Chairman Howard Zemsky is trying to pick up the pieces after nine criminal complaints were issued against two former Cuomo associates, including a top former aide, along with the former head of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, who oversaw the contracts for the Buffalo Billion and other projects.

Zemsky, in an interview with New York public radio and television, said some contracts may need to be rebid, but won’t say which ones. He said some vendors chosen by SUNY Poly as a “preferred supplier,” where the contract has not been finalized, might be scrapped for other arrangements.

But he defends the governor’s economic development programs and said the “vast majority” of the programs will be completed, though he admits there’s a cloud hanging over it all.

“I know what it’s like when somebody does something wrong and kind of casts a shadow,” Zemsky said. “Or someone potentially does something wrong, and that kind of casts a shadow on a lot of good work by a lot of good people.”

Zemsky said at the beginning of November that the new rules and changes intended to prevent corruption in the future would be out in time for the next Empire State Development board meeting scheduled for Nov. 17.