Off the Northway: Former SEDC head out of jail and in Florida

Ken Green, credited by many with being responsible for GlobalFoundries’ decision to build its comput

Ken Green, credited by many with being responsible for GlobalFoundries’ decision to build its computer chip plant in Malta, is out of jail and has moved to southern Florida.

Green was released from the Saratoga County Jail in late July after serving five months for violating his probation on a felony DWI conviction.

After 30 years in Saratoga County, he has opted for a change in climate. His LinkedIn profile now lists him as president of Naples Energy Park in Naples, Fla. — so far down the Gulf Coast you’re on the edge of the Everglades, I-75 to Fort Lauderdale on your doorstep.

Efforts to reach Green there were unsuccessful this week.

Green was president of the Saratoga Economic Development Corp. for 20 years and was once one of the leading economic development people in the entire state, responsible for luring to the county companies that created thousands of jobs.

He spent his last decade at SEDC laying the groundwork for what is today the Luther Forest Technology Campus, the mammoth high-tech industrial park carved out of pine forest in Malta and Stillwater.

The things he envisioned, which had passionate opponents as well as supporters, have actually happened. The state and Saratoga County have sunk more than $100 million into readying the industrial park.

In 2006, Advanced Micro Devices — which later spun off its manufacturing plants into GlobalFoundries — announced plans for a computer chip plant there, and that plant is now built and gearing up to start test production next year.

Throughout Luther Forest’s development, Green’s tenacity and energy — his glibness and passion — could seem superhuman.

They weren’t, of course, and he wasn’t.

In a very public downfall, Green was arrested for DWI in November 2007 after a homeowner on the East Side of Saratoga Springs complained about a car on the homeowner’s lawn late one night. Police found Green asleep inside. He resigned from his SEDC job shortly after that. He continued to work as an economic development consultant, though.

Then, in April 2010, it was a felony drunk driving charge. Green was arrested after a minor accident at school dismissal time outside Caroline Street Elementary School. He pleaded guilty and got weekends in jail and five years of probation.

He ended up doing five months straight, though, after he failed a random urine screening, violating his probation. While in jail, he attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

“I feel the best I’ve felt in years,” he told Gazette reporter Lee Coleman in a jailhouse interview in March.

Former congressman John Sweeney is another once-prominent man who let alcohol get the upper hand for a while, but he’s now clean and practicing law in Albany.

Here’s hoping Green, too, can succeed in making a new beginning.


Back in 2006, Malta beat out the town of Marcy for the upstate computer chip plant — but officials continue to push the Marcy site, just outside Utica, for high-tech development.

On Thursday, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and two congressmen weighed in with a letter to President Obama, asking him to intervene in favor of development at the site near the SUNY Institute of Technology campus.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a needed wetlands disturbance permit to Mohawk Valley Economic Development Growth Enterprises, but one of the conditions it set has blocked site development, the senators said. The corps permit stipulates that wetlands on the site cannot be disturbed until it has a confirmed tenant.

And getting a high-tech tenant to confirm they’ll come before site work is started, as anyone who followed the AMD-GlobalFoundries saga knows, is like expecting maples to change color in June.

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