Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Filling in the gaps in the Post's Bruce Bender story: questionable behavior in Yonkers

In Scandal follows top exec, the New York Posts reports on Forest City Ratner executive Bruce Bender's record not only in lobbying "scandal-plagued state Sen. Carl Kruger" but also the Ridge Hill case in Yonkers.

The Post reports:
In 2006, Bender, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, was the point man for Forest City's efforts to win approval from Yonkers for a $630 million commercial and residential development.

A Yonkers councilwoman, Sandy Annabi, stunningly switched her position on the development, and helped pass it. Last year, Annabi was charged by federal authorities with accepting more than $166,000 in bribes to vote for that deal and another development.

A Forest City spokesman said the company backs Bender, and noted, "We cooperated fully with the [Yonkers] investigation, and neither the company nor any of its employees were found to engage in wrongful behavior."
The missing connection

Here's what's missing: Forest City hired the alleged briber, Zehy Jereis, for a no-show job.

As I wrote 3/11/10, FCR, which hired Jereis for an apparent no-show job, was not indicted and issued a statement indicating that it had been told by federal prosecutors that neither it nor its employees was a "target" of the investigation.

If so, that suggests either that prosecutors lack sufficient evidence to indict the developer and/or that they believe the developer's cooperation justifies not seeking its indictment.

Thus, FCR not only escaped sanction for some questionable behavior--it has never explained or justified the no-show contract--it also can continue to benefit from a zoning change that was, according to prosecutors, illicitly gained.

1 comment:

  1. isn't this kind of like how johns are never prosecuted, only the prostitutes? just saying....

    ReplyDelete