Buffalo event is Cuomo’s first amid uproar on Moreland - The Buffalo News

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Buffalo event is Cuomo’s first amid uproar on Moreland

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will be in Buffalo this morning to speak about a “major job creation” program that is part of his Start-Up NY initiative, but new jobs may not be what draws the most attention.

His visit to the University at Buffalo’s South Campus in Buffalo follows a front-page article in the New York Times that placed his administration under fire five days ago.

The announcement, in what will be Cuomo’s second visit to Buffalo this month, is expected to attract droves of reporters. Whether Cuomo will answer questions is unknown, but late Sunday night his press office listed the event as open to the press.

The article in the Times on Wednesday, culminating a three-month investigation, accused the Governor’s Office of interfering with the Moreland Commission, a panel that Cuomo created in July 2013 to uncover corruption in state government.

The investigation found that Cuomo’s administration prevented the commission from examining the governor’s political allies, those in his own administration or issues he supported politically.

Cuomo’s office told the Times that such a commission “cannot investigate the executive” and that doing so would be a “pure conflict of interest.”

The Moreland Commission was shut down in the spring. The Times report comes amid a federal investigation by the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara.

State Sen. George D. Maziarz, whose campaign funds are being looked into by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, announced July 13 that he would not run for re-election. The 61-year-old Newfane Republican said the probe did not influence his surprise decision to not seek another term.

Sunday night, the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino released a media advisory for today, listing four news conferences across the state, ending in Buffalo at 3:45 p.m. at Erie County Republican Headquarters, 715 Main St. It said Astorino and running mate Chris Moss will call on Cuomo “to answer questions about his administration’s role in directing criminal investigations away from his political allies.”

Also Sunday, Cuomo announced that the state-funded $21.2 million renovation to SUNY Buffalo State’s Caudell Hall is underway, although the project had been announced previously as part of nearly $350 million in new construction and renovations to the campus.

The 52-year-old building will have modernized space for four programs in Buffalo State’s School of the Professions – hospitality and tourism, dietetics and nutrition, social work and speech-language pathology.

Construction is expected to be completed by the summer of 2016.

email: scampbell@buffnews.com

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