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What Cuomo has said about Bharara's investigation, those charged

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has insisted for months that he'd be the first one to "throw the book" at any members of his administration or associates who have committed public corruption crimes.

Thursday, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara threw that book first, charging 9 people in a sweeping corruption case involving Cuomo biggest economic development projects in Buffalo, Syracuse, and elsewhere.

Here's what New York's governor has said in recent months about Bharara's probe and some of the men charged with paying or accepting bribes in return for state contracts.

June 2 at a news conference in Syracuse, talking about lobbyist Todd Howe, who now has pleaded guilty to accepting bribes: 

"I know (lobbyist) Todd Howe. I've known him for many years. He worked for nano. He's worked on a lot of these projects. I've always said that. But it's also irrelevant. If anyone does anything improper, they will be punished to the full extent of the law. Period. I was the attorney general of the state of New York. I put people in jail. Public integrity is job one."

"There are questions. We have no answers. There are questions about several individuals and actions they have taken."

"We are fully investigating them," Cuomo said. "If anyone did anything wrong, I will be the first one to throw the book at them."

May 10 in North Hudson, talking about Howe: 

Cuomo on May 10 distanced himself from Howe.

"I wouldn't call us close friends. He worked for the state for a number of years, but I had no knowledge of his personal situation."

Published media reports have revealed that Howe paid for a Cuomo campaign fundraiser on Dec. 14 at the Fort Orange Club in Albany.

May 25 in Syracuse, denying he had anything to do with state contracts being awarded to COR Development, his biggest Central New York contributor and a company who had two executives, Steve Aiello and Joseph Girardi, charged Thursday with paying bribes to get contracts:   

"The way it worked...the state didn't do any of the contracts. It's all done through SUNY, the state university system. They are the ones that actually managed the contracting process."

"They are the ones who ran the contracts, ran the competitions, made the selections," Cuomo said. "I had absolutely nothing to do with that."

"It was done by SUNY," the governor said.

In his 2014 memoir, talking about Percoco, his former aid, charged Thursday with accepting bribes: 

In his 2014 memoir, Cuomo wrote about Percoco, his  former executive deputy secretary who ran Cuomo's re-election campaign and worked in the administration of Cuomo's father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo. Cuomo called Percoco “the total package: trained as a lawyer, he had the guts, brains, and stick-to-itiveness necessary to attack any project — hard.”

During the “worst of times,” Cuomo wrote, Percoco “could make us laugh.”

Cuomo has also called Percoco in the past "“my father’s third son, who I sometimes think he loved the most.”

In the Fall 2015, Cuomo was asked if his biggest campaign contributors getting state contracts was a potential problem:  

“It hasn’t been a problem for the past 100 years, so I don’t know why it would be today,” Cuomo said.


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