Monday, July 18, 2011

This Land Is Your Land?

The NY Post has been right on top of the investigations into the sale of some state owned land to an Indian cultural center: "Two probes were launched yesterday into the controversial land deal that allowed a politically connected Indian cultural group to buy 4.5 acres of state land in Queens for a fraction of its value, The Post has learned. State Inspector General Ellen Biben and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have initiated separate investigations into the $1.8 million sale of land at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens Village to the Indian Cultural and Community Center, according to sources briefed on the matter."

Way to go AG and IG! This is clearly something that needs to be looked at closely, but while these offices are at it the question remains: Can they walk and chew gum at the same time? We ask this because it has now passed the two year mark when it was revealed that the AG was looking into the clear violations of the not for profit laws by Claire Shulman's EDC.

What could be more egregious than the mayor, EDC and Shulman's use of tax payer money to lobby for the elimination of the properties held by our members here at WPU? And the ballyhoo in regards to Creedmore stands in sharp contrast with the two year silence of the lambs at the AG's office over our complaint.

As far as IG Biben goes WPU wrote to her two months ago and requested that she examine the questionable behavior of NYSDOT and its new commissioner saying:

"We are now calling on the Office of the State Inspector General to institute a full review of the actions of NYS DOT and its new commissioner in order to determine whether Commissioner McDonald has treated this review process with the fairness and impartiality it deserves.

The governor has made governmental ethics a signature policy issue of his administration. In the same spirit, WPU requests that you institute such a review by first calling on Commissioner McDonald to recuse herself from the ramp review process; and by then calling on the agency to also launch an independent evaluation of all of the environmental data that has been submitted by NYC EDC."

The IG's response has been ear splitting silence on the matter so we are led to conclude that as far as Mike Bloomberg is concerned, he is too big to fail-and that equal protection under the law is a concept followed more in its absence by the agencies empowered to protect the folks from self serving deceit by the powerful.

As far as Creedmoor is concerned there has been a flurry of strong oversight-as the Post points out today: "Now state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Inspector General Ellen Biben separately have begun papering the borough with subpoenas as they look into whether anti-corruption laws were violated."

Now we have no problem with this investigation, and if it is proven that someone has violated the law than they should be punished. But it seems to us that the targets are low hanging fruit compared to Mike Bloomberg and his associates-remember it was the mayor who claimed that the EDC violation was something that was done "all of the time." If true-and considering that Coney Island was the scene of similar EDC illegality-that would make the mayor a serial violator.

Make no mistake about it the use of an illegal maneuver to pave the way for depriving of a basic American right to property is just as bad as the low balled sale of state property. It's about time that these agencies got some gumption and went after some of the Big Guys.