hochulThe federal government’s investigation into contracting for the state’s “Buffalo Billion” economic development program won’t hurt job creation, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul told reporters on Tuesday in western New York.

“I am so excited to tell the Buffalo Billion story. At this point already $875 million has been committed,” Hochul said. “We’re anticipating $8 billion in investment leverage as a result of this.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has pledged the investment in the Buffalo area — which is aimed at drawing high-tech companies and employment along with it — will create up to 14,000 jobs.

“Those jobs will be created,” Hochul said. “Those jobs are committed. SolarCity is committed and it’s going to to continue as planned.”

But the massive state investment has been called into question, with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office investigating companies that have received contracts who have also contributed heavily to political campaigns, including the governor. In particular, federal investigators are looking at the contracts won by LPCiminelli, a developer who was selected to construct the SolarCity facility.

Hochul, meanwhile, insisted the investigation by Bharara’s office — which has placed scrutiny on both SUNY Polytechnic leader Alain Kaloyeros as well as the SolarCity project — won’t chill the anticipated job creation. Echoing comments Cuomo made earlier this month, Hochul said the investment in Buffalo has been a success.

“A day doesn’t go by where we don’t see a spectacular headline talking about increasing construction jobs, the tech jobs, the tourism jobs that are now coming back as a result of the governor’s commitment to Buffalo,” she said.