Political operatives from both parties expect that Governor Andrew Cuomo will be indicted by the US Attorney’s office on January 2nd of next year. Preet Bharara is said to have “hundreds of hours” of wire taps probing the Governor, his operatives, and some of his largest campaign contributors. He has enough evidence relating to wire fraud, theft of honest services, and conspiracy to commit fraud “to hand down a dozen indictments tomorrow.”
But Bharara, sources say, is waiting for the opening of the next legislative session for strategic reasons. Such a jaw dropping political development would paralyze Albany and — in the event that Cuomo refuses to immediately resign — would kill any legislative movement out of fear of those negotiations being scrutinized and the uncertainty around the governor’s ability to deliver on any deal.
Most observers expect Cuomo to step aside quickly, which would immediately elevate Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul to the state’s highest office. For the first time in our history, Western New York’s economic interests will take a commanding seat in Albany. She is expected to serve out Cuomo’s three remaining legislative sessions — during which time she will be well situated to deliver billions in state resources to Western New York.
The University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, the Olmsted Conservancy, and other local institutions could benefit immensely, securing capital for construction projects and legislation that fuels longer term growth.
It is unclear whether or not the leaders of those institutions have begun preparing capital plans so that they can take advantage of the once in a lifetime moment when it comes. Observers suggest that it’s conceivable that the University at Buffalo, alone, could secure several billion dollars in construction capital.