Lt. Governor responds to Buffalo Billion probe: 'very disturbing' & 'hurtful'

Sep 26, 2016

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul is defending criticism against Governor Andrew Cuomo from his remarks Friday that he was unaware of the dealings behind 'Buffalo Billion' projects. 

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochol shaking hands with State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer outside Sweet Home High School Monday.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Late Last week nine defendants were federally charged in connection with the public corruption probe. That included three executives from that included three top executives from developer LP Ciminelli in Buffalo.

WBFO's Eileen Buckley spoke to the Lt. Governor briefly during an appearance at the Sweet Home High School Monday morning about the Buffalo Billion probe.

“Yes, it’s very, very distributing and it’s hurtful, but it’s how you react next,” responded Hochul in a WBFO News interview. 

Lt. Governor Hochul said they will make sure this does not happen again and the probe should not prevent economic growth in Western New York.

“I’m here to tell you Buffalo will not be forgotten. Buffalo will come out even stronger. There’s going to be new projects on the books and our Governor is going to continue to fight that this does not happen again,” noted Hochul.

Hochul said she expects future 'checks and balances' for economic projects support by state funding and noted the Governor remains  committed to 'restoring public trust' across the state.

“This Governor is absolutely committed to restoring the public trust in the state of New York,” said Hochul.

When asked about those who remain critical that the governor should have known about the dealings behind handing out the Buffalo Billion funding, Hochul said the Governor has named Howard Zemsky to now lead the funding for future projects.

“As he inherited a system where there was a parallel operation, through the SUNY schools, and that was done with governors prior to our own governor, but I think as he mentioned, there will be lessons learned from this and to have some as trusted and well-regarded as Howard Zemsky, now in charge of it all, is really an important first step, but there will continue to be checks and balances," stated Hochul.