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Business Council head to run state development agency<br> Cuomo selects Adams, subject to Senate's OK

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has selected Kenneth Adams, president of the Business Council of New York State, to run the state's economic development agency and picked an adviser on urban parks to head the state parks agency.

Adams will be CEO of Empire State Development Corp. and commissioner of the state Department of Economic Development if confirmed by the State Senate.

Under Adams, the Business Council endorsed a candidate for governor for the first time, backing Cuomo over Republican Carl Paladino, a Buffalo businessman.

Rose Harvey, tapped as commissioner of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, is a senior fellow at the Jonathan Rose Companies and former national director of urban programs at the Trust for Public Land.

Adams would be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the state's economic development efforts. Cuomo pledged Thursday that the as-yet-named chairman of the agency's board will have expertise in upstate matters, which was viewed by observers to mean that the person will come from upstate.

Still uncertain is how the agency will change if Cuomo goes ahead with plans -- still not detailed -- to create regional councils around the state to decide how state economic development money should be spent in places like Western New York.

Brian McMahon, executive director of the New York State Economic Development Council, which represents a variety of job-creation entities around the state, said Adams spent much of his time upstate during his years as head of the Business Council.

"I think he has a good understanding of what needs to be done in upstate New York, and I think he'll be a strong advocate for upstate," McMahon said.

Last week, Cuomo named Leecia R. Eve, a Buffalo resident who has served in top legal posts inside and outside government for many years, to be senior vice president and counsel to Empire State Development Corp.

Eve is the daughter of former Deputy Assembly Speaker Arthur O. Eve, D-Buffalo, and a one-time aide to then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.


Tom Precious of The News Albany Bureau contributed to this report.

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