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Assemblyman: First Niagara should give back job-creation money


A local state assemblyman says First Niagara Bank should give back $28 million it has received to create jobs. If the financial institution is taken over by Key Bank, the move could cost 1,800 jobs.

Assemblyman Mickey Kearns says he has written to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying there should be a "clawback" of the money. According to the South Buffalo Democrat, almost as much will be paid to executives if the deal goes through.

"First Niagara knew back in 2011 what the terms of that agreement was, with the state of New York. I believe when you are looking at losing more than 1,800 jobs as a result of that merger, we can't turn the other way," Kearns said.

Under the state's Excelsior program, Kearns says First Niagara gets nearly $6 million a year in tax credits for job creation. First Niagara didn't return a call seeking comment on Kearns’ pursuit of the clawback.

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