ALBANY, N.Y. — In the latest developments in New York state government, the head of a powerful state research institute resigned his position following federal bid-rigging charges and the state’s oversight agency for the disabled has no record of forwarding abuse or neglect reports to the state Medicaid inspector general as they are legally required to do.
A guide to the week’s top stories in New York government:
DEAD END PAPER TRAIL
The New York Justice Center was created by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2013 to protect the disabled in state care. The law requires the agency to forward abuse and neglect reports to the inspector general, who has the authority to cut off Medicaid funding to troubled facilities.
Yet the Justice Center says it has no record that any reports were forwarded, even though agency officials say 18,000 cases of abuse and neglect have been confirmed since the center opened.
Michael Carey, the advocate for the disabled who requested the records, said failure to forward the reports amounts to fraud against the federal government, which pays for half of the state’s $65 billion Medicaid program. Carey has requested an investigation.
There are more than 120,000 disabled people in state care. The Justice Center reported recently that it had substantiated nearly 2,800 abuse and neglect cases through the first eight months of this year. They include 90 involving serious physical or sexual abuse or other serious misconduct by caregivers.
SUNY POLY PRESIDENT RESIGNS
The leader of a New York state research institute has resigned after being charged with bid-rigging.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros announced his decision in a letter to SUNY officials Monday. Kaloyeros is a nanotech expert who led many of Cuomo’s efforts to attract high-tech jobs upstate. He was the state’s highest-paid employee with a salary of more than $800,000.
“Dr. Kaloyeros resigned because he believes that the federal and state prosecutions recently filed against him are an unnecessary distraction for the good people working hard at SUNY Poly,” said his attorney, Mike Miller, who said his client will be exonerated.
Kaloyeros was one of eight men arrested last month on charges related to an investigation of the Buffalo Billion and Nano, Cuomo’s efforts to bring high-tech jobs to upstate New York. He is accused of working to ensure Buffalo contractor LPCiminelli and Syracuse-based COR Development won contracts for construction projects related to the initiatives, and also faces state charges that he illegally steered a bid for a student housing project to an Albany-area developer.
WARNING TO BANKS
New York banking regulators are cracking down on compensation practices like those that allegedly pushed Wells Fargo employees to boost sales figures by secretly opening new customer accounts.
The Department of Financial Services announced Tuesday that incentive compensation may not be tied to performance measures without effective oversight.
The department says its examiners will look at incentives and misconduct deterrence during regular reviews.
SLOT MACHINES ARRIVE
The first batch of new slot machines has arrived at Tioga Downs as the Southern Tier gambling parlor continues its expansion into a resort casino. Sixty-three machines arrived on Tuesday, with nearly 900 more on the way.