UPDATED: Adams will answer to committee for "woodshed" remark
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s nominee to lead the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) will have a chance to clarify his off-the-cuff remark about taking those who pursue nanotech ventures in Syracuse to the woodshed.
Ken Adams, the incoming chief of the organization, will have to testify in front of the state Senate’s finance committee before he’s confirmed. The chair of that committee is Syracuse-area state senator John DeFrancisco; his office says the senator knows what Adams meant by the remark, but intends to ask him about it during the hearing.
In addition to Finance, Adams will also have to appear before the the Commerce, Economic
Development and Small Business Committee, which is chaired by Senator James Alesi, a Republican from the Rochester area.
Adams made the remark to City Hall, nearly a week before he was tapped to be the head of the ESDC, and purportedly had no idea Cuomo he was about to be offered the job. And the Cuomo administration isn't taking any steps to mitigate fall-out from the comment - the administration isn’t making the governor’s nominees available for press until after they’ve been confirmed.
Kevin Schwab with the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity says he understands Adams’ remark and is on board with the idea of regions promoting their strengths.
“One of the things we’re confident of is that he is going to look across the region of the state and help drive businesses where they best fit,” said Schwab.
Adams himself is in a sort of gray area right now - he's no longer with his old employer, the Business Council of New York State, but hasn't yet come on board with ESDC.