paterson
An ambitious plan to create an emergency radio network that was intended to connect all emergency agencies and local police and fire departments in New York State appears to be in danger of falling apart.

The $2 billion network has been plagued with problems and has also been the victim of the latest round of budget cuts, which included a $40 million cut to the project.

A press release detailing budget cuts issued by the Paterson administration Wednesday said, somewhat ominously, that “any decision regarding the future of the Statewide Wireless Network project” would be “made at a later date.”

At a press conference Wednesday, Gov. David A. Paterson was asked if the project was dead, at which point Speaker Sheldon Silver whispered something that was inaudible in the governor’s ear.

“The Speaker just said to me it’s not dead,” the governor said, “but it’s in critical condition.”

More bad news will come tomorrow, when Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli will release a highly critical audit detailing failures of M/A-Com, a division of Tyco International, in living up to the requirements of its contract to create the network, according to a person briefed on the audit.