ALBANY–“This scheme is unusual in it’s brazenness, it’s stupid,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Schneiderman came down hard on SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Thursday. After a year long investigation, the A.G. announced felony charges against Alain Kaloyeros, accusing him of using his position at the university to engage in bid rigging for multimillion dollar contracts.
“Kalyeros gave insider information to friends and fixed the bidding process to ensure his cronies won lucrative contracts funded in part by the state of New York,” Schneiderman explained.
The A.G. says Kaloyeros hand picked companies to enrich himself.
“His compensation package, and he is I believe the most highly compensated official in the state of New York, is dependent in part on the amount of economic activity that he generated for SUNY Poly,” Schneiderman said.
Public policy analyst Ken Girardin says he believes this type of fraudulent behavior among top state employees is inevitable.
“When you have this much money getting moved around by public officials outside of legislative oversight and almost deliberately outside of public view, it’s only a matter time until you have people go and do bad things,” Girardin explained.
Girardin says this is another example of a lack of oversight, and that the state needs more regulation in the business climate.
“These are the things the state legislature should have been doing all along instead of giving licenses to these guys to go off and do their own thing with public money,” he said.
But Schneiderman says his office will continue to go after corrupt officials and anyone who abuses taxpayer money.
“These charges are yet another important step in ensuring that there’s one set of rules for everyone in the state of New York, no matter how powerful or connected you may be,” Schneiderman said.
Kaloyeros has been suspended from his position without pay and is set to be arraigned in Albany on Friday. If convicted on all the state’s charges, he faces up to 12 years in prison.
His attorney says Kaloyeros “has always sought to make sure the right company was doing the right job on the right project. He committed no crimes along the way.”
© 2016 WRGB