Sunday, February 20, 2011

Now at the ESDC, succeeding Laremont and Bloch: Leecia Eve, the almost-Lieutenant Governor, and Juanita Scarlett, veteran governmental/political hand

A reader points me to news of two executive appointments at the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), who should have some role, as had their predecessors, in Atlantic Yards.

The summaries are from The Business Council:
Leecia Eve, Senior Vice President and Counsel to the Empire State Development Corporation
Ms. Eve most recently served as Vice President for Policy of the No Limits Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that promotes economic issues at home and abroad and advocates transforming American foreign policy around the world, including advancing the rights of women. She is a former partner at Hodgson Russ, Western New York's largest law firm. She served as a judicial clerk to the New York State Court of Appeals Judge Fritz W. Alexander II, Judiciary Committee Counsel to then-Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., and as Senate Counsel to then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Eve succeeds Anita Laremont, who took the state's early-retirement incentive. Laremont had the uncomfortable task in her last year of service of claiming at a Senate hearing that the ESDC's board, rather than ubiquitous consultant AKRF, finds blight.

The almost-Lieutenant Governor

By the way, Eve might have been Governor today instead of Andrew Cuomo. She was the black establishment's choice for Lieutenant Governor to run with Eliot Spitzer, until state Senator David Paterson manuevered his way in, as noted in this account from Maria Rosa:
She was more erudite than Paterson, having passed her bar exams, graduating from an élite law school and frankly her political acumen far a superior one.
Then-Daily News columnist Errol Louis, in a 1/27/06 column headlined SPITZER WRONG TO TOSS EVE: GOV HOPEFUL MISSES CHANCE TO CHOOSE REAL REFORM CANDIDATE FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, wrote presciently:
Leecia Eve's possible withdrawal from the race for lieutenant governor provides a miniprimer on much of what's wrong with politics in general and the state of the Democratic Party in particular. A party that chases away star talent like Eve has its priorities hopelessly muddled and a back turned against its own future.

...Spitzer's choice of Paterson is a phenomenally bad idea for the ticket, the party and the Harlem community Paterson represented for more than two decades.

At a time when voters are demanding reform, Paterson is an Albany insider who has often ended up on the wrong side of ethical questions.
Later, of course, Spitzer resigned in disgrace and Paterson performed erratically, mixing good moments with enough ethical snags that he recognized he shouldn't run for a term on his own.

Another executive


Also at the ESDC, succeeding Darren Bloch (who left to run The Capital and City Hall newspapers), is, according to The Business Council:
Juanita Scarlett, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Policy & Public Affairs, Empire State Development Corporation.
Throughout Juanita’s career, she has held vital roles in both government and public relations including Director of Intergovernmental and Community Affairs at the New York State Office of Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo and Executive Advisor for Public and Governmental Affairs at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Juanita began her career in public service as Press Officer to Governor Mario M. Cuomo.
Scarlett, as it happens, is married to Louis, a noted supporter of Atlantic Yards. (I've had, um, my differences with Louis, who now anchors Inside City Hall on NY 1, but never any dealings with Scarlett.)

In a 1/25/10 article headlined Still Preparing, Cuomo Courts Black Support, the New York Times reported:
Mr. Cuomo has also hired Juanita Scarlett, a well-connected black political hand who has worked at various points for John C. Liu, Eliot Spitzer and Senate Democrats, to work on intergovernmental relations in the attorney general’s office.
Besides her work in public service, Scarlett has also worked on several campaigns. She was paid $20,000 in July and August 2009 working for the New York State Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (plus another $10,000 in February 2009, via Scarlett NY), $7000 in September 2008 for work on the campaign of Malcolm Smith (who has a historic connection to Atlantic Yards minority contracting consultant Darryl Greene), and $38,250 from May through September 2009 for work on John Liu's city Comptroller campaign.

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