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Investigations

Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney

GreenPost

Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary

May
31

Ciminelli appeals corruption conviction

 Lawyers for Louis Ciminelli have appealed his felony conviction last summer on corruption charges related to the Buffalo Billion. Ciminelli, president of LPCiminelli, and Alain Kaloyeros, head of a state-affiliated development corporation, were convicted for their roles in the awarding of the contract to develop the $750 million facility to house Tesla’s solar panel […]

May
16

Another Buffalo Billion project is struggling

There were supposed to be almost 500 jobs created by now. Instead, there are just 51. An ambitious economic development project at the University of Buffalo, intended to bolster the region’s biotech sector and create high-tech jobs, is years behind its original schedule and coming up short on its hiring goals. The Buffalo Institute for […]

Apr
25

Tesla reports big losses

Tesla reported first quarter losses Wednesday of $702 million. What’s worse, Tesla reported a big drop in its solar business. Solar panel installations dropped by more than one third during the first quarter. Installations are down five-fold since peaking in 2015. Its market share has tumbled in recent years from 33 to 9 percent. All this […]

Mar
15

Key witness in ‘Billion case avoids prison

 Kevin Schuler, the prosecution’s star witness in the Buffalo Billion corruption trial, escaped a prison term at his sentencing in Manhattan on Friday. Schuler was an executive at LPCiminelli who detailed the bid rigging scheme that resulted in the company landing the contract to build the SolarCity plant in South Buffalo. His testimony was […]

Dec
11

Buffalo Billion criminals get off easy

Hold up a gas station and you’re looking at a minimum of five years in prison. Get napped with an ounce of crack and the mandatory minimum is five to ten years. Engage in bid rigging, and in the process violate the public’s trust and cost taxpayers potentially million of dollars? If you’re Louis Ciminelli, […]

Nov
29

43North winner delinquent on loan

Four years ago, local manufacturing startup ASi was riding high, the first ever $1 million prize winner of the state-funded 43North business plan competition. Now, the company is in financial trouble. It’s not currently operational, has just one employee – the founder and CEO – and recently defaulted on a $250,000 loan from the Erie County Industrial […]

Nov
13

Western New York’s version of the Amazon deal

 The agreement that will place a new headquarters for Amazon in Queens is the biggest economic development deal for a private company New York has ever seen, with a subsidy package that could add up to more than $2 billion. The full value of the incentives Amazon stands to receive is unclear, but it […]

Sep
28

Successes and stumbles for 43North program

 As the 43North startup competition, funded by the Buffalo Billion, enters its fifth year, organizers have made progress in addressing the program’s weak link: winning companies leaving Western New York after their mandatory year here is up. But, in a notable stumble, one company singled out to receive extra funding slipped through organizers’ fingers, […]