Griffo Urges State AG to Probe Land Sale

(Albany) - Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-IP-C, Rome) today announced that he has written to State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in support of an investigation into a recent Adirondack land purchase.

Griffo noted that in 2004, The Nature Conservancy bought a 20,000-acre tract of land for $6.3 million and sold the land to the state four years later for $9.8 million.

“I am supporting the Attorney General’s investigation because I believe when there is this much money changing hands, and this type of short-term profit from land, that a thorough review is necessary to protect the best interests of the taxpayer,” Griffo said. “Multi-million-dollar Adirondack land purchases are a concern in this time of fiscal distress, and we owe it to the taxpayers to ensure that all of the right steps were followed that could rule out any concern.”

Griffo said Cuomo’s review can also ensure that any flaws in the land purchase process are corrected. “There are a lot of good intentions in the Adirondack land purchases that enhance existing Adirondack Park lands. We need to be sure that the process of carrying out those good intentions sufficiently protects the taxpayers and also does not leave state government open to charges that it acted improperly. I welcome and support this investigation because we need to protect our taxpayers.”

[copy of letter to AG Cuomo attached]