ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York-state research institute has a new leader after its last president resigned in the wake of bid-rigging charges.

Trustees for the State University of New York on Thursday tapped Bahgat Sammakia to be the interim president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Sammakia has been vice president of research at Binghamton University since 2010.

Former president Alain Kaloyeros resigned last month. He faces state and federal charges that he steered lucrative state contracts to hand-picked companies. Kaloyeros is one of several men charged in an investigation into Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's economic development programs.

His attorney says Kaloyeros is innocent and resigned because he didn't want his criminal charges to become a distraction to SUNY Poly.