FILE - FILE - Board members of Kiryas Joel and Town Of Monroe at the annexation hearing June 10, 2015.
FILE – FILE – Board members of Kiryas Joel and Town Of Monroe at the annexation hearing June 10, 2015.


Albany, NY – Governor Cuomo’s ties to a wealthy Kiryas Joel developer has both legislators and good government groups questioning Cuomo’s decision to veto the controversial Kiryas Joel bill requiring local approval for any annexation attempts.

Capital New York reports the proposed legislation was in response to Kiryas Joel’s desire to annex 507 acres, which detractors say would have increased the size of the village by 70 percent.

Citing Article IX of the New York State Constitution, Cuomo said he vetoed the bill on July 8 because it was “unconstitutional” and would have given “counties control over local annexation petitions that would not impact a county’s boundaries.”

Assemblyman James Skoufis, who sponsored the bill, called the Governor’s veto on constitutional grounds “flat-out wrong” since the bill would have given approval powers to the county’s planning department, not its legislature.

Since the beginning of 2015, Cuomo has received $250,000 from a series of limited liability corporations with ties to the developer identified as Joel Hirsch. On July 13 and 14, Cuomo’s campaign account took in nine checks from questionably-named LLCs.

The address provided for eight of those checks was 266 Broadway, Ste. B04, in Brooklyn. However, according to the corporate registration with the Department of State, Hirsch’s business addresses are listed at 11 Hayes Court, Unit 201 in the town of Monroe, where Kiryas Joel is located. The ninth check had a different address listed on Cuomo’s disclosure forms, but is actually registered at the same Hayes Court address, This address has been listed in several places as the address of Mayer Hirsch

Hirsch is also linked to the Kiryas Joel Meat Market, is an officer with the Kiryas Joel Municipal Local Development Corporation, and is chairman of the Vaad HaKiryah, which originally purchased the land.

“The perception certainly is that these big moneyed interests will get what they need if they give enough money,” said Barbara Bartoletti of the League of Women Voters of New York.

Hirsch did not respond to calls requesting comment.

As reported by Vos Iz Neias