Governor Andrew Cuomo would not say if SUNY Polytechnic and its controversial leader, Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, would continue to take the lead on the Rochester photonics program.
Kaloyeros is among several people under investigation by federal prosecutors. The probe involves possible bid-rigging and conflicts of interest in the Buffalo Billion project.
Kaloyeros has been close to the governor and is widely credited with helping build Albany’s nanotech sector. The idea was to have him to do the same for Buffalo in solar and for Rochester in photonics.
When asked Cuomo if he’s still comfortable with Kaloyeros leading the photonics initiative.
“Well, all we have are questions and we don’t have any proof or evidence of anyone doing anything wrong,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said he will be the first to throw the book at anyone found to have done something wrong.
Kaloyeros was behind the scenes in a fight over control of where the Rochester photonics headquarters would be located. His ally, Chamber of Commerce CEO Robert Duffy, pushed for Legacy Tower. Assemblyman Joe Morelle and University of Rochester President Joel Seligman pushed for Sibley. There was a dispute over who was in control of the project.
Kaloyeros ultimately won that fight, with SUNY Polytechnic reasserting its control over the project and the headquarters going to Legacy Tower.