By LOUIS FLORES
In spite of the role that the real estate developer Glenwood Management has played in the federal corruption cases against each of Assemblymember Sheldon Silver (D-Lower East Side) and State Senator Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-New York) intends to continue to accept campaign contributions from the controversial real estate developer.
Gov. Cuomo's plans to continue to accept campaign contributions from the real estate developer at the center of the corruption scandals currently rocking Albany was previously confirmed in a report published by The New York Post.
“I don’t think anyone said Glenwood has done anything wrong,” Gov. Cuomo is quoted as saying in The New York Post report.
One of the controversies surrounding the way that Glenwood Management structures is enormous campaign contributions to Albany state officials is by exploiting what is referred to as the "LLC Loophole" in state campaign financial regulations, a process by which very wealthy individuals or corporations can exert tremendous influence over Albany public officials.
In the federal corruption case against Assemblymember Silver, federal prosecutors have alleged that Glenwood Management steered legal work to a law firm of Assemblymember Silver's choosing, which paid referral fees to Assemblymember Silver for having referred the legal work to the law firm. During the time of that financial arrangement, federal prosecutors have alleged that Assemblymember Silver handled businesses that Glenwood Management had before the state.
In the federal corruption case against State Senator Skelos, federal prosecutors allege that State Senator Skelos asked Glenwood Management to steer some of the firm's title insurance business to financially benefit his son, Adam Skelos, thereby monetizing State Senator Skelos public office.
Wealthy real estate developers, such as Glenwood Management, are able to leverage the value of their large campaign contributions in exchange for Albany public officials giving the business needs of wealthy campaign donors a higher priority over the civic needs of average voters. For example, Albany public officials are preparing to renew a valuable tax abatement program known as 421-a for wealthy real estate developers, even though that tax break does not benefit average voters.
Questionable conduct involving Glenwood Management came to light following increased scrutiny of the role of campaign contributions by real estate developers in Albany. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the nation's top federal prosecutor in New York's southern district, has escalated his office's political corruption investigations after the premature demise of the corruption-fighting panel known as the Moreland Commission was orchestrated by Gov. Cuomo, Assemblymember Silver, and State Senator Skelos during the state budget negotiations in March 2014. Since then, U.S. Attorney Bharara has taken possession of the Moreland Commission's files and has received other critical information from the state's inept ethics panel, known as the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE.
As previously reported by Progress Queens, JCOPE was reportedly "remote controlled" by Gov. Cuomo, according to Ravi Batra, a former JCOPE commissioner, who resigned in protest of Gov. Cuomo's interference and other charges of misconduct.
Progress Queens made a request to interview Gov. Cuomo for this article, but a response was not immediately received from Gov. Cuomo's press office. If a response is received, then that information will appear in a future posting.
In the past, Gov. Cuomo's press office has refused to answer requests made by Progress Queens to Gov. Cuomo's press office.
U.S. Attorney Bharara's political corruption investigations are widening to include the use of court-approved wiretaps targeting lobbyists, according to a report published by DNAinfo.