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So why is FCR's Gilmartin on a criminal justice reform commission? Because closing Rikers could unlock real estate.

Capital New York reported 3/17/16 how Jonathan Lippman, the former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, announced Thursday the members of the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, formed "at the request of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who proposed the possibility of closing Rikers Island during her State of the City speech last month."

While most of the 27 commissioners have some relation to criminal justice and corrections issues, among the appointees were Forest City Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin and Partnership for NYC CEO Kathryn Wylde.

Wylde was an understandable choice, as she's typically repping the business community. But Gilmartin was a discretionary choice, and a sign that Forest City has a particularly close relationship with the de Blasio administration. After all, she was on his transition team named in 2013.

Apparently Gilmartin is there to help assess the real estate value of Rikers without the jail. Who knows, it also might give Forest City some leg up on that project, should it ever come to fruition.

It generated some scorn.
Campaign contributions

Forest City executives have mostly made relatively small campaign contributions to de Blasio and Mark-Viverito. (They've given more to Gov. Cuomo, and AG Schneiderman.) As I wrote last year, both Bruce Ratner and Ashley Cotton made $250 contributions to Mark-Viverito. They, along with Gilmartin and Bob Sanna, gave $400 to de Blasio.


Interestingly, Ratner's wife Pamela Lipkin contributed the full $4,950 to de Blasio, as did his sister-in-law Karen Ranucci. She may well support de Blasio for her own political reasons, but in the past Ranucci and husband Michael Ratner have made contributions to Brooklyn machine pols, seeming to advance FCr interests.

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