- Associated Press - Thursday, October 13, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Several good-government groups are urging New York lawmakers to convene oversight hearings following a criminal investigation into bribery and bid-rigging related to state economic development programs.

The groups, including Common Cause New York, the Fiscal Policy Institute, the League of Women Voters and the Citizens Budget Commission, say Thursday that the public deserves to know if more than $1 billion in lucrative state contracts were improperly awarded.

Several men face charges stemming from probes into the awarding of contracts related to economic development programs. Those arrested include two senior officials in the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and executives at development firms in Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester.

Lawyers for the men say their clients are innocent, but the groups seeking hearings say the allegations show immediate reforms are needed.

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