CPV Exec Apologizes to Former Company, But Not Victims of Fracked Gas Power Plant

Albany corruption dominated Courtroom 443 at the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in downtown Manhattan on Friday May 11th.

Just after a jury found former NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver guilty on 7 counts of federal corruption, Completive Power Ventures (CPV) executive Peter Galbraith Kelly plead guilty in the same room to lying to his former company about bribing Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top-aide in a pay-to-play scheme for a 650-megawatt fracked gas power plant CPV has built in Wawayanda, New York.

While working for CPV in 2012, Kelly arranged a low-show job for Joseph Percoco’s wife to gain influence over the Governor’s right-hand man while Cuomo’s administration evaluated the fracked gas power plant for key permits.

Before entering his guilty plea, Kelly, breaking down into tears, said, “My decisions were the greatest mistakes of my life. I will forever regret them and the horrible impact they had on my family, CPV and others.”

He made no mention of the families that are already being poisoned in Orange County as the plant tests on diesel and will be exposed to toxic emissions for decades to come.

“Our community did not get justice today,” said Pramilla Malick of Protect Orange County. “Kelly admitted to wrong doing to virtually everybody except the people in our community.”

Malick said hundreds of people have filed health complaints already due to toxic emissions from the plant.

“We have families who cannot sleep at night,” said Malick. “We have people getting sick and we have an emerging climate crisis because of this power plant.”

Kelly will be sentenced on September 28 and the government has suggested a sentence of a year to a year and a half in prison and $190,000 in restitution.

Malick said that amount is nothing compared to what families have lost who have already had to step away from their homes and those who stay living next to the plant will face in mounting medical bills.

“We’re being sentenced to 40 years of toxic fracked gas while Kelly is being offered 12 to 18 months,” said Malick. “I think if he’s going to serve only 12 to 18 months they better make sure he’s in a prison in Orange County so he can breath the toxic air he has thrust upon everybody else in our community.” 

Just the night before, Governor Cuomo falsely stated that his administration did not approve any fracked gas power plants, trying to distantance himself from CPV, but residents of Orange County say the plant will be his legacy if he doesn’t pull the plug by rescinding state air quality permits.

“The town of Wawayanda and the Orange County Legislature have asked that the permits be pulled,” said Madeline Shaw who lives near the plant. ”And the only person who has that power is the Governor.”