Nicolla pleads not guilty in bid-rigging case

September 26, 2016 06:49 PM

ALBANY - Joe Nicolla had a day in court Monday.    

According to his attorney E. Stewart Jones, he'd like it to be Nicolla's last day in court.

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Nicolla pleaded not guilty to bid rigging charges. After the arraignment, Jones accused New York's attorney general of not understanding the bidding process, which is why Jones says he expects the case to be dismissed.

The allegations of bid-rigging against Nicolla, 59, are "absolute nonsense" according to Jones.

"Joe Nicolla never ever would have to engage in bid rigging. He has never engaged in bid rigging. He's a remarkable businessman who plays by the rules every day of his life," argued Jones.

WEB EXTRA: E. Stewart Jones

That's a far cry from what Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in New York City last Thursday regarding an alleged scheme involving SUNY Polytechnic President Dr. Alain Kaloyeros who Schneiderman says provided advance email notification to Columbia Development Corporation, which Nicolla runs, on specs to build a $27 million college dormitory in Albany.

"Yes, it is unusual and it certainly reflects an arrogance and a sense that these folks really were above the law and working in an unrestrained way to abuse their power and enrich themselves," countered Schneiderman.

However, Jones says the attorney general’s investigation was incomplete, and he further accuses Schneiderman of not understanding the bidding process.

"When all the documents are laid before the attorney general's office and we intend to do that, we believe it will be persuaded to withdraw these charges," affirmed Jones.

Over the past 35 years, according to Jones' narrative, Nicolla has revitalized neighborhoods, restored historic landmarks, and kept thousands of jobs in the community, and done so, he insists, with the utmost integrity.

"Once they see what we have, what they don't have, they'll understand why these charges are flat out wrong," declared Jones. "No crime was committed!"

Like his co-defendant, Alain Kaloyeros, Joe Nicolla remains free on recognizance.

The case is now expected to head to a grand jury and county court.


WNYT Staff

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