At this point, it’s almost not worth bringing it up every time an associate of either New York Governor Andrew Cuomo or Big Apple Mayor Bill de Blasio winds up in jail or before a judge on corruption charges. These stories have become baked into the cake to the point where they’ve essentially been normalized. But another of these political circus acts wrapped up this week and the latest defendant somehow managed to slip through the system without being sentenced to any time behind bars. Of course, he was still found guilty, but he got off with a fairly easy sentence. (NY Post)
An executive who took part in a scheme to rig bids for the troubled Buffalo Billion development project and later cooperated with prosecutors has avoided prison.
Kevin Schuler, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and a related conspiracy charge and later testified against former SUNY Polytech President Alain Kaloyeros, was sentenced on Friday to 400 hours of community service — with one-third of time spent speaking to students about business ethics.
“I’m sad I’m part of the reason that people continue to view the state government as drowning in corruption,” Schuler told the court during his sentencing hearing in Manhattan federal court as he choked back tears.
Schuler was part of the crew that was dishing out favors and making sure that the “right people” had the ear of the Cuomo administration while it was handing out gobs of money through the so-called Buffalo Billion. Individuals and businesses were able to access this money, purportedly to expand and create more jobs. Just by some coincidence, I’m sure, those same people wound up making donations to Cuomo’s campaigns or performing other helpful tasks.
Others have already been sentenced to jail time while more are awaiting trial. But Kevin Schuler got off with only community service for a reason. Once it became clear that the jig was up, he quickly turned state’s evidence and began ratting out his friends. That was probably a key factor in the number of convictions they’ve managed thus far. As a reward, Schuler gets to spend his community service time lecturing students about… business ethics.
The amazing part is that as recently as last fall, there were still people in New York seriously talking about Andrew Cuomo as a 2020 presidential contender. (And multiple sources confirmed that he was very interested in it himself.) That would have been great news for Donald Trump because the amount of dirt available on this guy in terms of crooked associates who wound up on trial or in jail is legendary. The same thing goes for Bill de Blasio, who is still reportedly considering a presidential run. But hey… this is New York politics we’re talking about. It’s all part of the game.