ALBANY - A $12.5 million helicopter will soon be joining New York's fleet.
A contract to purchase the lightly used Sikorsky S76-D -- which will be partially assigned to transport Gov. Andrew Cuomo on official business across the state -- received formal approval last month, clearing the final hurdle for State Police to pay for the aircraft.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli unveiled the final approval Wednesday. It was included as part of a monthly list of contracts approved and major payments made.
DiNapoli's office had rejected an initial request from State Police to purchase the helicopter back in November, claiming the agency's application was incomplete and missing key information.
But DiNapoli later allowed the process to move ahead in January, days after a helicopter carrying Cuomo and his staff made an emergency landing at Stewart International Airport near Newburgh after the cabin filled with smoke.
The Sikorsky helicopter will join the State Police's fleet and will be available for Cuomo's official use.
DiNapoli on Wednesday also unveiled the state had paid out another $273,000 to Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC, a white-collar defense firm based in New York City.
The firm, which has now received more than $600,000 from the state, has represented Cuomo's executive chamber in the federal investigation into economic-development projects led by the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, including the Buffalo Billion program.
The probe led to the indictment of SUNY Poly President Alain Kaloyeros, who is accused of rigging the bid for lucrative, state-funded contracts; and Joseph Percoco, a longtime aide and close personal friend to Cuomo.
Percoco was accused of accepting bribes to help a Syracuse-area developer and Maryland-based company hoping to build a natural-gas power plant in Orange County.
Both Percoco and Kaloyeros have maintained their innocence.
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