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Zemsky says changes to state bidding will come after election

Matt Ryan
New York Now

Recommendations on how to go forward with some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development contracts tainted by scandal have been delayed for another few weeks, the governor’s economic development chairman said.

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 public radio and television, said some contracts may need to be rebid, but will not 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 the new rules and changes that he said will prevent corruption in the future will be out in time for the next Empire State Development board meeting in mid-November.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.
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