State Sen. James Skoufis, chair of the state Senate’s Investigations and Government Operations Committee, this week issued this statement:
“Following release of the joint report issued by the State Comptroller and Orange County District Attorney detailing double-dealing by Orange County Industrial Development Agency officials, my team and I are reviewing all responses to document requests with renewed focus on identifiable falsehoods associated with our Senate investigations committee’s five recently concluded examinations.
“As detailed in the Comptroller’s and DA’s report, the IDA’s former executive director was charged with and convicted of corrupting the government as a direct result of the false statements she filed with the Senate investigations committee as part of our late 2019 probe into IDA activity.
“As we audit the responses our committee received, any identifiably false filings will be criminally referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency.”
In June, Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler and New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced that three former officials of the Orange County Industrial Development Agency had pleaded guilty to felonies in connection with engaging in, and concealing, prohibited conflicts of interests. Former IDA Managing Director Vincent Cozzolino, 62, of Gardiner, pleaded guilty to tjhird-degree corrupting the government. The IDA’s former Chief Executive Officer, Laurie Villasuso, 41, of Newburgh, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree corrupting the government. Edward Diana, 72, of Wallkill, a former member of the IDA’s Board of Directors, and a former Orange County Executive, pleaded guilty to first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.
Earlier this month, the trio paid a total of $1.3 million in restitution. They are to serve no time behind bars.
Meanwhile, the Rules Committee of the Orange County Legislature also is following up on the Hoovler-DiNapoli report.