ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The second person named in the latest state corruption case pleads not guilty.
On Friday, it was Alain Kaloyeros who walked through the doors of the Albany City Courthouse to face a judge. On Monday, it was Joseph Nicolla’s turn. The long-time friends are now co-defendants in an alleged case of corruption.
Nicolla is the President of an Albany-based real estate development company, Columbia Development. He was named in Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s felony complaint involving bid-rigging schemes in the area. He’s facing one count of Combination in Restraint of Trade and Competition, a felony. Kaloyeros is facing three counts of the same charge for two additional schemes he’s accused of being involved with as well.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleges Nicolla and Kaloyeros, the former head of SUNY Poly, worked in cahoots to make certain that Columbia Development was awarded a contract for a multi-million dollar housing project for the institution.
“No crime was committed!” Jones said. “These charges are brought without the facts to support them, the investigation was incomplete. They don’t understand the process. Most importantly they’ve extracted information out of context,” Jones said.
Schneiderman also alleges that the two collaborated when writing the language for the “RFPs” or bid-requests so that only Columbia Development could qualify for the job.
According to the felony complaint, the bid-request was sent out to all competing developers in March 2015. It called for three buildings within walking distance to the SUNY Poly campus.
However, Schneiderman said he found e-mails and paperwork between Kaloyeros and Nicolla dating back to August 2014; Nearly a year before that. Schneiderman alleges they included a site-drawing of three dormitories and a parking lot off Loughlin Street, which is now, Sandidge Way just next to the campus. Schneiderman said Nicolla went ahead and bought every home on that road in preparation.
“Once they see what we have and what they don’t have they’ll understand why these charges are flat out wrong,” Jones said.
Nicolla was released on his own recognizance.
The case will now go to county court but Jones tells NEWS10ABC that he believes the charges will be thrown out before it gets that far.
If Nicolla is convicted, he’s facing one to four years in prison.