Saturday, September 24, 2016
Activists calling for an immediate halt on CPV power plant construction upon corruption scandal
New York - An unfolding federal corruption investigation could have a major impact on the Senate race in New York’s 42nd District where longtime Republican incumbent John Bonacic faces Democratic challenger Pramilla Malick. The two have long been at odds over the construction of the CPV gas-fired power plant in the Orange County town of Wawayanda. The Senator has used his official position to promote the plant, while his son, John “Scott” Bonacic, has profited, first by brokering the purchase of land for CPV, and again when his law firm was retained to handle “community relations” for the controversial project.
Malick has led the fight against the CPV plant citing the threat it posed to human health and numerous irregularities in the permitting process. She felt vindicated yesterday when she learned that U.S. Attorney Preet Bhahara indicted CPV executive Peter Galbraith Kelly on bribery charges. According to the federal indictment, Kelly illegally funneled $280,000 to Albany power brokers in order to grease the skids for the project. “If a Mom from Minisink can smell corruption a mile away, are we really supposed to believe John Bonacic was completely unaware of all the corruption that was going on right under his nose?” asked Malick. “He’s been an Albany insider for twenty-six years. He’s a lawyer; his son’s a lawyer. Neither of them could smell a rat?"
Earlier this year a CPV consultant, Todd Howe, pled guilty to extortion, bribery and tax fraud, and Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered state employees to suspend discussions of regulatory matters with CPV.
Seven other individuals were indicted along with Kelly. "I really do hope that there's a trial in this case so that all New Yorkers can see — in gory detail — what their state government has been up to,” said Bharaha. In announcing the indictments, he made it clear that the investigation is ongoing, and that there may be further indictments.
Malick has made ethics a central theme of her campaign. She has endorsed the Demand Democracy agenda that calls for reining in big money in politics and real ethics reform in Albany. One provision of the reform package would bar lawmakers from receiving taxpayer-funded pensions if they are convicted of criminal wrongdoing.
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