Saturday, August 30, 2008

Zimbalist's Seattle bill was $61,296

Last month, I reported, based on press accounts in Seattle, that expert witness Andrew Zimbalist cost the city of Seattle $17,753 in its effort to hold the new owners of the Seattle SuperSonics to their local lease.

Actually, as the Post-Intelligencer reported yesterday, the total was $61,296, including $59,540 on time spent preparing his report and his 50 minutes of testimony, with the rest going to plus travel expenses.

Zimbalist's report, trashed by an opposing attorney, didn't help Seattle's cause, but the city, which spent $2.96 million in the case, was successful in getting $19 million more in settlement than previously offered.

Zimbalist's report for FCR

As I wrote, we don’t know how much Zimbalist was paid by Forest City Ratner for his deeply-flawed report on Atlantic Yards. But maybe, given that Gov. George Pataki’s administration relied on Zimbalist’s study in a press release, the government should tell us.

Remember, then-FCR executive Jim Stuckey told City Council in May 2004, "It is really not our report, it is Professor Zimbalist’s report."

It deserved the public rebuttal and cross-examination that Zimbalist's work has faced more recently in court.

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