Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New York Times columnist focuses on "intriguing" Ratner tie in two corruption cases

New York Times columnist Michael Powell, in A Developer Between Legal Clouds, offers some much-needed connections between “Developer No. 1” in Brooklyn and “Developer No. 2” in Yonkers and some corruption cases that curiously left Forest City Ratner a beneficiary yet legally unscathed:
The Brooklyn and Yonkers cases are not simply about wayward politicians. The cases share an intriguing tie to the developer Bruce Ratner, who in project after project deploys lobbyists and politicians to change zoning ordinances and chase down rich packets of subsidies.
I think the case in Yonkers--where Forest City gained the benefit of a City Council vote thanks to a vote gained by bribery, and never explained giving the indicted briber a no-show job--involves the developer more than the case in Brooklyn, where lobbyist Richard Lipsky and former state Senator Carl Kruger had a range of clients and beneficiaries.

Questions and answers

Powell writes:
So many questions remain, not the least of which is where the money came from. Prosecutors say Mr. [Zehy] Jereis gave Ms. [Sandy] Annabi a $160,000 shower of bribes.

Back in Brooklyn, similar questions remain. Mr. Lipsky shared $252,000 worth of his lobbying fees with Mr. Kruger; the source of that money is unclear.
The Yonkers case should go to trial soon, and then, perhaps, we will learn some answers to the question of, as I've written, the mystery of Ridge Hill.

A Gotham column unafraid to take on the powerful

Powell's been a columnist since only May 2011, and since then has been unafraid to look critically at the power structure in the state, including Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Would that he or someone like him had covered, say, the Atlantic Yards groundbreaking in March 2010.


1 comment:

  1. It's great that the Times is writing about this. But why is it two years after the indictment in Ridge Hill came down? Seems it would have been more timely then.

    As was this column I wrote at the time:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-goldstein/what-role-did-bruce-ratne_b_474934.html

    At least it does look like perhaps some interesting facts may come to the fore when the trial starts in about two weeks.

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