In our previous post we outlined why new State DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald should recuse herself from oversight over the review of the Van Wyck ramps. Once she does that, the department should proceed to fire AKRF-the engineering and consulting firm that has presided over this incredible attempt at fraud. We'll let Brian Ketcham make the case as succinctly as possible:
"The fact that AKRF was in charge of both the WP FGEIS and the Van Wyck ramps EA/AMR and approved reports on the same project that provided diametrically opposite results raises the question whether or not an engineering firm (not so independent) that also works on projects within New York State can be relied upon to produce honest results. In my opinion NYSDOT should fire AKRF and find an engineering firm that can provide the required review functions but that has no conflicts of interest—that is an engineering firm that does no work within 500 miles of New York State and that is unlikely to be influenced by either private sector or public sector clients."
If SDOT doesn't have the integrity to do this than the governor's office should step in and insure the integrity of this process-and institute the independent oversight that the Natural resources Defense Council has asked for.
From the moment when EDC hired Claire Shulman to illegally lobby for the Willets Point process ethical integrity, fairness, and basic legality were discarded-all at the expense of small property owners and the tax payers of New York who will eventually be stuck with the bill for this white elephant.
It's time for an intervention. Who will be the grownups to intervene before it is too late?