Buffalo Billion Trial Could be Delayed

Judge set to rule on if separate trials will occur

(WBEN) - Is the Buffalo Billion trial headed for a delay?

Louis Ciminelli and fellow LPCiminelli executives Michael Laipple and Kevin Schuler are alleged to have conspired to rig the bidding process for state contracting jobs including the SolarCity factory. The three have pleaded not guilty. 

According to Politico's Jimmy Veilkind, a judge has yet to make a formal decision, but a decision is expected later this month to try the defendants separately. 

"Prosecutors are saying they do not object to splitting up the trial," Vielkind said. "One is focusing on Louis Ciminelli and the Buffalo defendants accused of rigging the bids to build the SolarCity factory at Riverbend. A separate trial focuses on Joseph Percoco."

The case was brought forth by former US Attorney Preet Bharara, and is now being overseen by acting US Attorney Joon Kim.

One person will be particularly interested in the proceedings.

"The later this trial goes, the worse it is for Governor Andrew Cuomo," Veilkind said. "He's seeking re-election next year. He's going to want to have as much space as possible between a trial with the possibility of incriminating statements or facts coming out and November."

The Governor has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

A trial was initially scheduled to begin October 30.

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