Orange County Legislature releases investigative report into IDA

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GOSHEN – The Orange County Legislature’s Rules Committee has released its investigative report into the operations of the county Industrial Development Agency under its former management and has proposed a number of actions that the new IDA board should consider taking.

Rules Committee Chairman Tom Faggione, who spearheaded the probe, said their goal is to prevent incidents like this from happening going forward.

“We want to make sure that in the future that a situation like this never happens again and to safeguard the IDAs and agencies like that so that in the future these troubles don’t come to light,” he said.

The recommendations include pursuing “appropriate legal action” against Vincent Cozzolino, Laurie Villasuso, and Edward Diana for repayment of “every penny they illegal received during their criminal activities.” The report said the restitution they paid in their plea agreements “does not represent the gross amounts of money they received during the years they perpetrated their scheme.”

The report also suggests the county make appropriate civil claims against Galileo Technology Group and the Strategic Economic Consortium, both of which Cozzolino managed, because “there is unequivocal evidence that both of these companies benefited illegally from contracts made with the IDA.”

The lawmakers also said the new IDA board should “seek any and all appropriate claims and actions against attorney Kevin Dowd” who was retained to render legal services to the IDA and its sister agency, the Orange County Funding Corporation, “and failed to properly safeguard (both) from the criminal acts of the three individuals.”

The report also said citizens should be encouraged to serve on boards like the IDA. “Doing so comes with great responsibility. Board members should make certain that any potential conflicts of interest, perceived or otherwise, are properly disclosed,” the report said.