ALBANY, N.Y. — The leader of a New York state research institute has resigned after being charged in a bribery and bid-rigging case that has shaken the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros announced his decision in a letter to SUNY officials Monday. His attorney, Mike Miller, said Tuesday that Kaloyeros left his position because he didn’t want his criminal charges to become a distraction to his colleagues.

“Dr. Kaloyeros is proud of all that SUNY Poly has accomplished during his tenure as president and the amazing work of the students, faculty, and staff,” Miller said in a statement. “Dr. Kaloyeros is innocent of the charges filed against him and looks forward to being exonerated when the cases have run their course.”

Kaloyeros faces state and federal charges that allege he steered lucrative state contracts to hand-picked companies.

Kaloyeros is a nanotech expert who led many of Cuomo’s efforts to attract high-tech jobs upstate. He has a salary of more than $800,000 and was the state’s highest-paid employee.

He was one of eight men arrested in September in an investigation into two Cuomo administration programs, the Buffalo Billion and Nano. Kaloyeros is accused of working to ensure Buffalo contractor LPCiminelli and Syracuse-based COR Development won contracts for construction projects related to the initiatives.

Kaloyeros also faces state charges alleging he worked to rig a bid for a student housing project for an Albany-area developer.

Others arrested in the federal case include former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco and executives at LPCiminelli, COR and an energy company. Lawyers for all the men have said their clients are innocent.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has said there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Cuomo. The governor said he had no knowledge of the alleged acts and said they’re “reprehensible” if true. He has said they won’t derail his efforts to revitalize the upstate economy.

Messages left with SUNY officials were not immediately returned Tuesday.