Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The general counsel for New York State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) brokered a meeting between the state Department of Health and a company employing the senator’s son without disclosing that link, a witness said.James Clancy, a former deputy state Health Department commissioner who was at the meeting, said Elizabeth Garvey, one of the senator’s top attorneys, first contacted him about setting up a sit-down between AbTech Industries and agency staffers who were reviewing the environmental health impacts of fracking before it was banned in New York last year, Clancy testified Wednesday at the senator and son’s corruption trial at Manhattan federal court.“Find it curious that [state] senate Republican is reaching out to me directly,” Clancy wrote in an email to his colleagues and members of the governor’s staff on Jan. 28, 2014, according to court testimony. Concerned with the potentially controversial nature of the request, the next day he also forwarded the lawyer’s email to another one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s aides, adding: “This is a biggie.”Arizona-based AbTech is one of three companies that the former state Senate Majority Leader allegedly coerced $300,000 from in the form of no-show jobs for his son, Adam, in exchange for illegally manipulating legislation. Both men deny the accusations.Clancy said he told Garvey, counsel to the state senate’s GOP majority, which Skelos led at the time, that Clancy would talk to his department colleagues and find out if such a meeting was “deemed to be appropriate.” After a back and forth, AbTech got the meeting on May 2, 2014, when company representatives pitched their product’s ability to filter fracking waste water. The issue was important because one of the issues being debated in Albany was whether fracking waste water would be trucked from well sites—clogging upstate roads with countless big rigs—or recycled on-site using filters such as AbTech’s. Late last year, Cuomo decided to ban fracking.Sen. Skelos’ defense attorney, Robert Gage, asked Clancy about another email that the deputy commissioner had sent to his colleagues in which he said it “sounded legit” and “I’m feeling OK about it.” Gage also asked “if anything inappropriate had occurred” in the meeting—such as AbTech’s representatives asking about fracking regulations or asking for a permit—and whether that would have triggered Clancy to “shut it down.” Clancy said yes, but the hour-long meeting ended without issue.Prosecutors subsequently asked Clancy if he knew how Skelos’ general counsel had found out about AbTech. Clancy said he didn’t know. Prosecutors also followed up to ask if Clancy knew that the senator’s son stood to potentially make money off AbTech’s fracking waste-water filters, if such drilling were legalized in the state and if AbTech secured those contracts. Again, Clancy said he didn’t.After Clancy testified, Kelly Ann Cummings, the spokeswoman for the state senate’s GOP majority, took the stand, but questions didn’t get beyond the biographical before the judge adjourned the case for the day. Her testimony is scheduled to continue Thursday.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released their Fiscal Year 2017 Work Plan which allocated $29.25 million towards to the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening Project, the Port of Philadelphia (PhilaPort) informs. That money, combined with the $33 million that Congress approved earlier in the month, represents the final federal appropriations to complete the deepening of the Delaware River navigation channel to 45-feet.“This news comes at the perfect time,” said Jeff Theobald PhilaPort’s CEO. “The completion of the channel deepening in conjunction with Governor Wolf’s $300 million investment towards improving landside infrastructure, will enable our Packer Avenue Marine Terminal to be the first terminal on the river to accept the larger vessels!”The Delaware River Channel Deepening Project is a 103-mile-long $392 million project and this federal scheme is funded by both federal and local sources.The PhilaPort is the local sponsor of the project and the signatory of the Project Cooperation Agreement known as the PCA. Pennsylvania has spent $137 million to ensure this economic engine keeps up with competing ports in the Mid-Atlantic.This is the final piece of funding that ensures that the Delaware River will be deepened to 45-feet by December 2017, said the PhilaPort in its release.Additional work to complete the project will continue through 2018.[mappress mapid=”24130″]
A Togo team lacking star Emmanuel Adebayor continued a perfect start to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Group A qualifiers by winning 2-0 in Djibouti on Friday.Adebayor, who Tottenham Hotspur are trying to off-load, ignored a national team call-up three months after Belgium-born coach Tom Saintfiet stripped him of the captaincy before a matchday 1 game.The temperamental 31-year-old striker scored in a 2-1 home victory over Liberia after skipping most of the preparations in Lome.New skipper and defender Serge Akakpo put the Sparrow Hawks ahead after three minutes at Stade du Ville in Horn of Africa city Djibouti.Another Turkey-based Togolese striker Jonathan Ayite, scored the second goal two minutes before halftime.Tunisia, who trounced Djibouti 8-1 last June, will replace Togo at the top of the table on goal difference if they defeat Liberia in Monrovia on Saturday. –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports