Citizens Union Statement on Sentencing of Syracuse Developer in Buffalo Billions Scandal

December 7, 2018

Citizens Union, a leading good government group committed to reforming our New York City and State government to foster accountability, accessibility, and transparency, reacts to the sentencing of Syracuse-based developer Joseph Gerardi:

"The charges brought against Joseph Gerardi speak to a culture of corruption in Albany and the need for a serious assessment of New York State’s ethics laws. Mr. Gerardi's conviction and sentencing, and that of top state officials in recent years, should serve as a reminder to lawmakers that it is time for Albany to be serious about ethics reform. We cannot allow wealthy and powerful interests to continue to use backdoor channels, special access, and other nefarious means to influence our government. This is especially prevalent around economic development decisions, where huge amounts of tax dollars are spent without adequate oversight. New York State needs common sense reforms like limiting legislators’ outside compensation and establishing a database of deals, which would increase the transparency of annual spending on business subsidies. New Yorkers deserve a government they can trust, and we look forward to working with the legislature and Governor to pass ethics reform that will restore the public's faith.”