Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NY Post: Forest City didn't conduct background check into Jereis, spokesman claims they had "no way of knowing" his criminal past

In We didn't know we hired a crook: Ratner firm, the New York Post has a mini-scoop regarding one of the two defendants in the ongoing Yonkers corruption trial, the go-between who helped get Council Member Sandy Annabi to change her vote to green-light Forest City Ratner's Ridge Hill project:
Forest City Ratner officials told The Post that they never conducted a background check in 2006 on then-Yonkers Republican Party Chairman Zehy Jereis before awarding him what amounted to a $5,000-a-month no-show job. This was after they learned of the political crony’s criminal record from a reporter.
...Shortly after testifying in Manhattan federal court Monday, Scott Cantone, FCR’s senior VP for government affairs, told the Post the company was unaware of Jereis’ shady past and never did a background check on him.
FCR spokesman Joe DePlasco said the firm had “no way of knowing” Jereis had a criminal record because “he was the leader of the Yonkers Republican Party.”
Um, being the Chairman of the Yonkers Republic Party doesn't exempt someone from a criminal past.

In some cases, it might be connected to it. Let's do a very quick literature search.

Past press coverage: NY Times, Journal News, NY Daily News





In the Post

Post reporter Rich Calder noted the marijuana arrest--which he wrote about while at the Journal News--and the election-fraud charge, though not the claims regarding Sanginiti (the resolution of which is unclear).

The implication: if Forest City Ratner, according to testimony, would not have hired Jereis if they knew he funneled gifts and cash to her, they should have exercised similar caution if they had known of his criminal past.

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