ALBANY — A key figure in the alleged bid-rigging scheme that touches on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration reportedly posted a graphic warning on Facebook to those he believes are kicking him while he’s down.
“Never kick me when I’m down, because when I get back up . . . you’re (expletive),” wrote Alain Kaloyeros, according to the Albany Times Union, which first reported the warning on Twitter. The post apparently was taken down after it was initially reported and retweeted.
Kaloyeros is one of nine people charged in the alleged bribery and conspiracy scheme that rewarded Cuomo campaign donored with lucrative construction contracts, according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Kaloyeros led SUNY’s Polytechnic Institute — the conduit for numerous high-tech projects upstate, including a solar-panel factory — until being suspended without pay after the charges were unsealed last week. A separate state-filed criminal complaint charged Kaloyeros with steering a SUNY dormitory contract to a prominent Albany builder and Cuomo donor.
Joseph Percoco, the governor’s former deputy and a close confidante, was charged in the alleged scheme. Todd Howe, a lobbyist who in the past worked for both Andrew and Mario Cuomo, already has pleaded guilty to eight charges and is cooperating with Bharara.
Cuomo has pointed the finger at SUNY, though not specifically blaming Kaloyeros.
“When you say it was in my office — not to sound defensive, but this happened through the State University of New York, the SUNY system’s purchasing and procurement process,” Cuomo said, responding to a reporter’s question Wednesday at an event in the Syracuse area. “I appoint people to the State University board, but it’s not in my office, quote-unquote.”
Cuomo, who hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing, has said he “had no idea” about the activities described in the criminal complaint.
It wasn’t immediately clear whom Kaloyeros was speaking to in the tweet. Neither of his attorneys returned calls or emails.