ALBANY, N.Y. — Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign will “set aside” $350,000 it received from developers facing federal corruption charges — while two other elected officials plan to either give contributions back or donate them to charity.
Cuomo said Wednesday that the money will be kept in a separate account pending the outcome of the case. The money would then be available if prosecutors seek their forfeiture following a conviction, he said.
“It makes no sense to me to give the money back to the people who have been charged. Why would we want to enrich them?” Cuomo told reporters. “We put the money in a segregated account. We’ll wait for the disposition of the case.”
Two other Democratic officials who also received contributions from developers facing charges aren’t waiting for the outcome to rid themselves of the cash.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s campaign said it will return $23,700 in contributions from the developers.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also received $15,722 in contributions from LPCiminelli, as well as from a third developer, Columbia Development, facing charges in a related state probe. His campaign said Wednesday that it will donate the money to a charity.
The charges all relate to a broader bribery and bid-rigging case that involves two top administration officials and executives at companies with business before the state.
Five executives at Buffalo-based LPCiminelli and Syracuse-based COR Development face federal allegations they worked to rig bids for lucrative contracts awarded by the Cuomo administration. Attorneys for COR Development executives Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, as well as LPCiminelli executives Michael Laipple, Kevin Schuler and CEO Louis Ciminelli, have said their clients are innocent.
Others charged include former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco and State University of New York Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros. Their attorneys have also said their clients are innocent.
Joseph Nicolla, president of Columbia Development, faces state charges that he worked with Kaloyeros to ensure his company won the contract for a student housing project. He pleaded not guilty on Monday.