Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WPU's Slander?

There was an interesting article last week in the Queens Tribune where WPU's Jake Bono is quoted as saying this about the new SDOT commissioner Joan McDonald:"It is incredible to us that the governor, who has made ethics a signature issue, has not asked that McDonald recuse herself from any involvement with the EDC-sponsored project," said WPU member Jake Bono, of Bono Sawdust Supply."

This was in reference to the fact that the new commissioner used to ply her trade over at EDC not too long ago. A legitimate observation? Not according to some anonymous and gutless city official: "A city official familiar with the situation rebuffed the allegation, saying, "That is a desperate and slanderous claim that doesn't merit a response."

So pointing out that there might be a conflict of interest for McDonald because of her previous employment amounts to slander on Bono's part? What deranged world does Mr. Anonymous live in? And why is the Tribune allowing someone from this corrupt bunch of land grabbers to speak so ignorantly without attribution?

As the paper does point out, we do see a change in attitude since McDonald was brought on board: "WPU has contended the odds have been stacked in the EDC's favor ever since the agency's former Senior Vice President of Transportation Joan McDonald was appointed commissioner of the State DOT on Jan. 14."

And the change runs counter to what we have observed from all of our FOIL requests of the state agency: "FOIL requests filed by WPU last year revealed reservations among State DOT engineers about the ramps' feasibility. A call to the agency regarding its decision to put the ramps up for public review was not returned as of press time."

All of this is on top of SDOT's unwillingness to engage WPU and its engineer Brian Ketcham in a real dialogue over the traffic data-and has resisted hammer and tong any independent review of the drivel EDC has submitted. Maybe our conflict of interest observation deserves a merited response form NY State Inspector General Ellen Biben? We'll see about that.