Federal prosecutors believe that developers who were awarded contracts as part of the Buffalo Billion project, which includes a massive plant for Solar City, may have gotten favorable treatment, and they want to know if a former top aide to the Governor had conflicts of interest because of his side consulting work.

The feds are also looking at Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, the CEO of SUNY Polytechnic, which is playing a major role in the Buffalo Billion – and Rochester photonics.

In July, when Vice President Joe Biden came here to designate Rochester a photonics hub, Kaloyeros said, “In many ways, this is your equivalent of the Buffalo Billion.”

But SUNY Polytechnic has been notoriously secretive about Buffalo Billion contracts and other deals.

Buffalo reporter Jim Heaney sued the state to get documents which exposed questionable practices now under investigation.

“It’s a cautionary tale that communities around the state that are in line to get comparable types of funding that are being handed out by the same cast of characters that are handing out the money in Buffalo,” said Heaney. “People need to ask questions and they need to demand transparency.”

Admitting there may have been fraud and improper lobbying, Governor Cuomo appointed a former prosecutor to do a top to bottom review of the Buffalo Billion project.