"Pure, old fashioned, graft and corruption." That's how Assemblyman Sean Ryan summarized the indictments handed down in connection with the development of Buffalo's SolarCity project. Nonetheless, Ryan maintains the controversial project holds great value for the region.
"The state was right to invest in Solar City projects because it will be transformative to our local, regional and state economies," Ryan said. He points how hiring is already underway at facility. The construction of the massive plant also helped to employ hundreds of local members of the building trades.
"Unfortunately, it now appears that many individuals sought to personally enrich themselves through the process of state contracts for Solar City and for other projects. This is unacceptable."
In the aftermath of yesterday's revelations, Ryan sees some valuable lessons. He believes planners moved quickly through the process in order to keep up with perceived market demand for solar panels.
"But, with that, a lot of the government controls disappeared. And, without those government controls and without that oversight, greedy behavior, fraudulent behavior and bid rigging came into play."