SolarCity subpoenaed by U.S. Attorney in Buffalo Billion probe

May 13, 2016

Green energy giant SolarCity is cooperating with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in his investigation of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” initiative.

SolarCity's RiverBend factory, under construction in South Buffalo.
Credit Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

Bharara’s Manhattan office has subpoenaed the company for information to aid in its investigation, with specific regard to the awarding of state contracts for the construction of SolarCity’s RiverBend factory in South Buffalo.

SolarCity Director of Communications Kady Cooper sent WBFO the following written statement:

“SolarCity is not the subject or focus of the investigation as we were not involved in the vendor selection or contracting process for the facility. The U.S. attorney’s office did request information from us to aid in the investigation and we will cooperate fully. Construction of the facility is proceeding well and we are looking forward to working with New York State to accelerate the full scale production schedule—it’s premature to speculate on any impact the investigation might have on the project timeline.”

Bharara’s investigation into the “Buffalo Billion” initiative was made public in September 2015. The probe gained additional public momentum in late April when a lawyer working in Governor Cuomo’s office acknowledged that the office had been subpoenaed.

Other persons and organizations since subpoenaed as part of the overall investigation include LPCiminelli – the Buffalo-based development company managing construction of the RiverBend site, and Peter Cutler – a former aide to the administrations of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Governor Cuomo.