Just one year after becoming the state’s economic development czar, Robert Wilmers is stepping down from the post, the latest in a growing line-up of officials departing the Paterson administration.
Wilmers, who is also chairman of the Buffalo-based M&T Bank, made his resignation known in a letter to Paterson, a government official said on condition of anonymity.
With much fanfare and as a bow to upstate, Paterson tapped Wilmers last June to lead the state’s Empire State Development Corp. At the time, economic development organizations praised the choice, which raised some eyebrows because of the stinging criticism Wilmers has leveled over the years at the state government and its handling of upstate’s economic problems…
It is uncertain why Wilmers is leaving. But the agency has seen its share of infighting, sources have said in recent months, with tension between the various upstate and downstate offices of the department. A source said recently that Wilmers also has expressed frustration with the musical chairs among high-ranking officials in the governor’s office over the past year — making it difficult for the agency to get adequate attention at the Capitol.