In an interview with the Democrat and Chronicle’s Brian Sharp, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy detailed his interest in a job with the Rochester Business Alliance, confirming he interviewed and decided to step away.
Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy confirmed Friday that he interviewed for the top job at the Rochester Business Alliance on Oct. 5, but said he voluntarily withdrew a week to 10 days later as rumors swirled about his interest and possible ethics issues.
He also has recused himself from anything related to the RBA, he said, but it has not yet been determined whether that means he will cease to oversee the Finger Lakes Economic Development Council. Duffy, who previously served as Rochester’s mayor and police chief, spoke to the Democrat and Chronicle on Friday morning.
Duffy said he had fully reviewed ethics matters before interviewing and those were never a concern, responding to a suggestion in the Times Union of Albany on Tuesday that such matters triggered his withdrawal — possibly at the urging of the governor’s office.
“I stepped away on my own,” Duffy said. “There was no prodding, no pushing. … I was not asked to do that (withdraw). The governor did not ask me to do that. It was my decision.”
Though he did not tell Gov. Andrew Cuomo until after the interview, Duffy said, Cuomo never pressured him to withdraw. As for why he did, Duffy said “a lot of things being put out there (were) compromising the process. The inferences being made, I thought, were counterproductive … to the organization, to me, and to my family.”
Duffy also said Cuomo “fully understood why I chose to pursue this,” and that the governor “understood, and accepted the fact.” On Wednesday, Cuomo said he and Duffy hadn’t discussed the RBA job.
“I don’t know anything about the Rochester Business Alliance,” Cuomo said Wednesday.
(Photo by Tina Yee / Democrat and Chronicle)