Statement by Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos
The Inspector General’s report confirms what I said in February, that the initial award of the Aqueduct VLT contract to AEG reeked of favoritism and was a corrupt a backroom deal. The disgraceful, criminal conduct of Senate Democrats exposed by the Inspector General makes it clear they were only looking after their own political best interests, not the public’s.
In February, I wrote a letter to Senator Sampson asking for a Senate hearing to examine all the Aqueduct bids in public to ensure an open, transparent process. Senator Sampson never wrote back. Now I know why, because the fix was in and AEG’s winning bid was already wired, bought and paid for through contributions to the Senate Democrats.
The rigged process only further delayed the selection of an Aqueduct VLT vendor, costing New York taxpayers more than $1 million a day in lost revenues.
The people of New York expect and deserve honesty, openness and transparency from their government, instead they have been hurt by the arrogance of one-party rule. This scandal proves once again that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and makes the best case for having checks and balances in state government.
The Inspector General’s words regarding this corrupt process conducted by Senate Democrats simply could not be strong enough. I encourage the Manhattan District Attorney to conduct a thorough investigation into the corrupt bidding process and into the possible perjury committed by Senate Democrats and their staff in testimony to the Inspector General.