Deliberations begin in Buffalo Billion trial, as closing arguments continue for Skelos & son

Jul 10, 2018

A New York jury is set to begin deliberations Wednesday in the trial of a former president of the State University of New York's Polytechnic Institute and three developers, as closing arguments in another public corruption case continued.

Louis Ciminelli among those on trial in New York City.
Credit LP Ciminelli

U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni read instructions on the law to jurors late Tuesday after two days of closing arguments in a trial that stemmed from an ambitious upstate New York redevelopment plan known as the Buffalo Billion.

A lawyer for Buffalo-area developer Louis Ciminelli read excerpts of the government's star witness to jurors to try to prove that his client acted honorably and legally.

Prosecutors said Ciminelli conspired in 2013 with Alain Kaloyeros, then-head of the Polytechnic Institute, to rig bidding for projects in Buffalo worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Kaloyeros and two developers also pleaded not guilty.

Dean Skelos also on trial in New York City.
Credit New York State Senate

In another New York City courtroom Tuesday, a prosecutor said a former New York State Senate leader extorted businesses to get jobs for his son where the son didn't do any work. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas McKay made the accusation at closing arguments at the corruption trail of Dean Skelos and his son, Adam.

McKay said the Long Island Republican and his son strong-armed the businesses into funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to the son through bogus jobs in exchange for the senator's backing of legislation. He called it a "Skelos family shakedown."

Dean Skelos testified this week that he was only trying to help his son through tough times. He said there was no quid-pro-quo.