Monday, February 08, 2010

As controversy over Queens video casino deal continues, Darryl Greene drops out

Well, the frenzy over the Paterson administration's controversial selection of the Aqueduct Entertainment Group to run a video casino hasn't let up, with multiple news outlets reporting that consultant Darryl Greene, who had 0.6% of the deal, has dropped out.

Greene, who pleaded guilty in 1999 to a misdemeanor count of mail fraud, as detailed in the document below, has long worked on minority contracting for Forest City Ratner, including on Atlantic Yards. (He was disbarred, according to the Daily News.)

Yesterday, the New York Post reported, in a careful locution, that "Companies connected to Greene owe nearly $1 million in state taxes."

More editorials

Paterson has been criticized for steering the contract to a group with ties to politically powerful Rev. Floyd Flake, who was flirting with an endorsement of Paterson's expected rival in this year's gubernatorial race, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

On Saturday, the New York Times weighed in (late) with an editorial, headlined Looks Sleazy to Us, opining:
[Assembly Speaker] Mr. [Sheldon] Silver may have preferred another bidder. But his demands seem more than reasonable. He should also insist that the governor release documents showing how this bid was chosen. It shouldn’t stop there.
On Sunday, the New York Daily News ran a second editorial, headlined Two-armed bandits: Daily News demands sunlight on shady Aqueduct deal:
New Yorkers especially need to see how much money the competing bidders put on the table. We also need to understand how Paterson, Silver and Sampson justify allowing AEG to match the high bid by adding $100 million to its offering at the last minute.

...In short, Paterson, Silver and Sampson completely disregarded the rules and procedures designed to ensure that state contracts are handed out fairly and achieve the best value.
The AY contrast

Remember, of course, that the newspapers didn't object when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority decided to negotiate exclusively with Forest City Ratner, which bid $50 million in cash for the Vanderbilt Yard, $100 million less in cash than rival Extell.

MTA officials have maintained the rest of the Forest City Ratner bid was more valuable, but Extell never got a chance to develop its bid. As Extell's Gary Barnett wrote, "We believe our proposal could have been even more detailed and responsive had the MTA offered a longer period for response to its RFP, either initially or in response to our formal written request for an extension. We regret that you declined our request."

DarrylGreenePlea

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