The Real Deal New York

Anti-corruption panel clashed over real estate influence on Cuomo: report

Loyalists to governor purportedly blocked efforts to subpoena industry board

July 23, 2014 01:45PM

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From left: Andrew Cuomo and Steven Spinola

From left: Andrew Cuomo and Steven Spinola

An investigation shows that members of an anti-corruption commission and loyalists to Governor Andrew Cuomo clashed over efforts to look into the governor’s relationship with real estate professionals.

The insight into the Moreland Commission came out after the New York Times released the results of a three-month investigation into the extent of the governor’s office’s efforts to block the panel’s information-gathering.

According to the paper, the commission’s executive director, Regina Calcaterra, fought efforts to subpoena the Real Estate Board of New York. The panel’s chief of investigations, Danya Perry, was seeking information on the board’s political contributions, correspondences with public officials and materials related to housing tax breaks. REBNY eventually provided the information voluntarily, the Times reported.

The Times investigation also suggests that Perry fought to include in the panel’s preliminary report findings regarding REBNY’s role in soliciting donations to the Cuomo administration. Perry also wanted to include information about a Cuomo fund-raiser hosted by Extell Development, one of five firms criticized for receiving tax breaks after making large donations to Cuomo through various limited liability companies. The final report suggested closing the LLC loophole, but did not mention either REBNY or Extell, the paper reported. [NYT] – Tom DiChristopher

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