Frank J. McGuire this morning withdrew his proposal to build a truck terminal on the Buffalo waterfront.
"The end of my involvement in this concept is not a retreat from my confidence in the plan as an efficient, intelligent, prudent proposal . . . to produce an economic solution to the area's most pressing transportation problem," McGuire said.
McGuire said his involvement in the project was "used to discredit not just the idea, but some very capable and dedicated people, as well."
McGuire and trucking executive Frank D'Arrigo proposed a truck inspection station in Lakeside Industrial Park north of the Small Boat Harbor. The land is owned by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
The NFTA's Operations Committee this week turned down the lease proposal because it appeared unlikely the plan would win approval from the federal government. NFTA Commissioner Ronald Anthony on Friday recommended the board vote to oppose the plan at its Monday meeting.
McGuire blamed his decision on the editorial stance of The Buffalo News for "unfairly raising the specter of conflict of interest" between McGuire and Gov. Cuomo.
"The Buffalo News ignored my entry into the project long before competing ideas were on the table," McGuire said. "But I'm even more distressed that my integrity would be impugned when I sought no public money from any source."
Planners for the Horizons Waterfront Commission this week took a stand against the project, saying valuable waterfront property should not be "squandered" for activities that do not enhance the waterfront -- "such as land-based truck terminals."
But McGuire blamed his problems on the newspaper. The planned terminal was behind factories and railroad tracks, McGuire said. He said he was unable to get the federal commitment without NFTA approval, creating a "vicious circle."
"If I hadn't been subjected to this abuse by the newspaper, I could have solved all that," he said.
"In a year when I expect to play an active and aggressive role in re-electing Gov. Cuomo, I will not allow my participation in this project to be used in an attempt to embarrass Gov. Cuomo."