- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday he’s unaware of any federal probe into the state’s economic development efforts in Buffalo and nobody in his office has been subpoenaed.

Asked about a New York Post report citing an unnamed source that federal prosecutors in Manhattan are looking into the Buffalo Billion project, Cuomo said the city’s economic comeback has included more than 14,000 jobs and $8 billion in private sector investment.

“Buffalo is really the poster child for the turnaround in upstate New York,” he said. “It’s going great. Beyond that I have no idea.”

Cuomo, a Democrat, was then asked if it’s a problem that people getting state grants are contributing to his campaign fund.

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

He added that an investigation doesn’t necessarily mean anything wrong was done. The cases in which state legislators have gone to prison involved bribery, he said, drawing a distinction.

“Anyone who takes a bribe should go to jail,” he said.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan declined to comment on Friday.

The Post reported Bharara’s investigation is focused on the multimillion-dollar contracts awarded to build facilities for high-tech, drug development and clean-energy businesses.

The Daily News, citing unnamed sources, reported that SUNY Polytechnic Institute has received subpoenas over the past several months for documents in connection with the investigation.

SUNY Polytechnic hired an outside law firm as special counsel with a $1.5 million contract that started in July and continues through January, New York’s comptroller confirmed. The purpose of the contract with Kelley Drye and Warren wasn’t disclosed Friday.

The school, in conjunction with Fort Schuyler Management Corp., in early 2014 selected the two companies to collaborate on the anticipated development of high-tech facilities in the Buffalo area. The companies are LPCiminelli and McGuire Development Co.

In a statement Friday, SUNY Polytechnic said it was confident that it handled the bidding and selection processes appropriately and it wasn’t aware that it or employees are targets of any investigation.

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