Louis Ciminelli’s next court appearance will be in Manhattan, not his hometown of Buffalo.
Ciminelli, one of nine defendants caught up in the latest public corruption prosecution by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, was scheduled to appear in a Buffalo courtroom Monday for a preliminary hearing.
The hearing will be held instead in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where the case is being prosecuted.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer, the Buffalo judge who oversaw Ciminelli’s first appearance Friday, ordered him and two other company executives charged in the case to appear in New York City by Oct. 6. He also ruled that the conditions of release for all three defendants remain in effect.
Ciminelli, chairman and CEO of LPCiminelli, faces bribery and bid-rigging charges in connection with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s upstate economic development program.
He and two other company executives – Michael Laipple and Kevin Schuler – are accused of bribing a former Albany lobbyist in an effort to gain an unfair advantage over other contractors seeking work from the state.
The criminal complaint against Ciminelli, Laipple and Schuler accuses them of conspiring with two others – Alain Kaloyeros and Todd Howe – to defraud the state’s taxpayer-financed program.
The allegation is that Ciminelli’s company paid Howe, a former Albany lobbyist, a “consultancy” fee that, in reality, was a bribe intended to help them win contracts from the state. Kaloyeros is president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute.
Daniel C. Oliverio, Ciminelli’s defense attorney, says his client did nothing wrong and looks forward to defending himself against the charges.