Dixon Calls for State Audit on Tesla's Solar City

Dixon concerned over lack of access for public officials

Tom Puckett
August 29, 2019 - 4:46 pm

WBEN Photo


Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon says she's sent a letter to state comptroller Tom DiNapoli asking for a full audit of Tesla's Solar City project in Buffalo.

Dixon says this comes after a Vanity Fair article that suggests Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk have not only fallen short on promises to Western New York taxpayers, but have willfully misled and deceived residents and public officials after receiving $750 million in public dollars.

Taxpayers spent $750 million on SolarCity, helping build the plant and paying for the equipment, it was one of the largest ever commitments to a single project in the history of Western New York. We were given the promise and expectation of thousands of jobs and a generational boost to our local economy. To date we haven’t seen that, and we have seen no transparency or accountability from Tesla. They deflect, they blame and they continue to partake in a level of secrecy they don’t deserve considering the commitment from taxpayers to this project.  It’s time we start to get answers about what our money was spent on,” said Dixon.

Dixon adds factory employees have called previous access given to media by Tesla as highly staged “dog and pony” shows to hide large unused areas and equipment. Dixon also suggests SolarCity open their doors to media and public officials which they have previously avoided after numerous requests.

“I’m requesting the State Comptroller complete a full audit of SolarCity and the public dollars spent on the project, he also should release any information publicly on any ongoing or planned audits regarding the project," says Dixon. "It is our responsibility as public officials to protect those tax dollars. We have people and businesses struggling here in Erie County that could have benefited from this type of investment and it’s starting to look more and more like we were duped not only by Tesla, but by Governor Cuomo and his allies."

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