For the last several weeks, the trial for a former top aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo has been drawing scrutiny to a power plant in Wawayanda.
At the heart of the case is a push for Competitive Power Ventures to build the plant, employing consultant Todd Howe, a key witness for the government in the corruption trial of Joe Percoco.
Percoco is accused of receiving bribes and a low-show job for his wife. Environmental groups in New York are opposed to the plant in Orange County, saying it relies too heavily on natural gas extracted through hydrofracking. And for good-government advocates, it's a sign of how much power is concentrated in the governor's office.
“People within the administration and if they're at the right level have unfettered ability to influence how contracts are being let. Apparently, according to the US attorney, everyone knows that system is being played out that way, and that's why they showered individuals with gifts, family members with gifts and campaign contributions,” said NYPIRG’s Blair Horner.
Most recently, residents have been concerned about what they're seeing and smelling coming from the plant. Residents have complained of odors causing headaches, sore throats and other discomfort.