Gov Cuomo Admits Wrongdoing Is Possible

05.18.16 | Bob Price

The size and scope of New York's state government makes it "unrealistic" to expect bad actors won't participate in wrongdoing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

Cuomo, speaking to reporters in New York City, faced another round of questions surrounding the ongoing investigation by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office, which is examining the Cuomo administration's major economic-development initiatives, including the Buffalo Billion program.

The Democratic governor said the Buffalo Billion spending -- a commitment to spend $1 billion on development projects to boost the state's second-largest city -- was "sacred."

But Cuomo said it would be unrealistic to expect no setbacks given the size of the state's governmental operations.
"I'm realistic enough to know in an operation this size with this much money and this many players, it's unrealistic to say nothing bad is ever going to happen," Cuomo told reporters. "Some people have bad intentions. Some people, frankly, are stupid. And things will happen."

He continued: "The real question is what do you do when you find the bad actor? How do you respond? Do you punish him, and do you put the systems in place to make sure it doesn't happen again?"

Cuomo's office has acknowledged Bharara is investigating potential "improper lobbying and undisclosed conflicts of interest" in the state's main economic-development initiatives, which are largely run through the SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

Joseph Percoco, a longtime Cuomo loyalist and former aide to the governor, reported receiving up to $125,000 from a developer and engineering firm with business before the state in 2014, when he was off the state payroll and serving as Cuomo's campaign manager.