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NYS Comptroller releases plan to reduce contract corruption

Ryan Delaney

The state’s comptroller has a plan to reduce corruption in the awarding of economic development contracts that has led to the indictment of former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli was taken out of the review process for some state economic development contracts in a state law passed in 2011, and since then, a former top aide to Cuomo and a former key State University official, along with seven others, have been charged with bribery and bid-rigging, among other crimes.

DiNapoli said his plan would restore oversight by the comptroller over the contracts, and ban the use of nonprofit entities that federal prosecutors say were used to mask the illegal schemes.

“I don’t know that the intent ever was for them to basically serve as a pass-through,” said DiNapoli. “That would not involve any level of scrutiny or accountability.”

Cuomo has outlined an alternative plan that would duplicate some of the oversight role of the comptroller by creating an inspector within the executive branch.

Lawmakers are considering a special session later this month. DiNapoli said he’d prefer thoughtful consideration of any changes and would not like to see them rushed through as part of an end-of-year session.

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.