Westchester County Assemblyman J Gary Pretlow is accusing Governor Andrew Cuomo of attempted bribery.
The New York Post reports that Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester) is accusing Cuomo of trying to bribe the Legislature. Pretlow claims that Cuomo offered a legislative pay raise if Uber was approved and if ethics reform was addressed.
“He caused a debacle here by trying to bribe the Legislature into doing something that he wanted,” said Assemblyman Pretlow.
Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow who was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1992 to represent the 89th district, which includes Mount Vernon and Yonkers, says that that the governor has said he will approve pay raises if lawmakers agree with his ethics reform or approve Uber in upstate New York, among other items.
“We wouldn’t succumb to the governor’s attempt at bribery,” said Assemblyman Pretlow, employing the harshest language yet to describe tense talks with the governor.
“That’s right. You could say I used the word `bribery,’” he added.
“The governor said, `I’ll give a raise if you do ethics reform. I’ll give you a raise if you approve Uber (ride-sharing services for upstate).“
An aide to Cuomo responded to the accusations late Tuesday, saying: “The Governor wouldn’t support a pay raise unless the Legislature did the people’s business. Pretlow is a hypocrite who voted for a pay raise from (former Gov. George) Pataki in exchange for voting on charter schools.”
Pretlow also charged that Cuomo kept demanding more during negotiations.
“It was like an episode of Charlie Brown. Lucy was pulling the football out from Charlie. The governor moved the goal posts,” he said.
“It’s a bribe. The governor tried to bribe the Legislature. We didn’t do it.”
Pretlow’s searing criticism comes as one Cuomo’s former top aides faces federal bribery and extortion charges in a bid-rigging scandal involving upstate economic development projects.
Cuomo himself is not accused of wrongdoing.
Two former advisers to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo pleaded not guilty on Thursday, December 1st to charges stemming from a bribery and bid-rigging scandal that reached into Mr. Cuomo’s innermost circle of friends and associates.
The former advisers are Joseph Percoco, a close friend of the governor’s who had served as his executive deputy secretary, and Alain E. Kaloyeros, the former president of the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, who helped to oversee hundreds of millions of dollars in state development funds.