In this morning's WSJ the paper reports on the questions surrounding the now two and a half year old investigation into the illegal activities of Claire Shulman's phony LDC-a group formed to advance the interests of developers:
"The New York State Department of State awarded a Queens development group a $1.5 million grant, despite a continuing investigation by the Attorney General into allegations that the group conducted an extensive lobbying effort in violation of state law.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office said last month it couldn't block the grant because the comptroller's office couldn't confirm the Attorney General is investigating the Flushing Willets Point Corona Local Development Corp., a group led by former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman."
But why exactly couldn't the comptroller determine whether the AG was investigating?-and what does that say about the nature of the so-called investigation? "It was unclear why the comptroller's office was unable to determine the status of the investigation. Danny Kanner, a spokesman for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office, told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that the probe remains active, but declined to comment further."
What makes this truly opaque-and raises questions about the conduct of the AG, his office, and the genuineness of his investigatory effort, is that in communications between the AG and the Department of State one Loren Kittilsen of the AG's office told DOS, in essence, and incorrectly, that no one at the AG's office knew anything about any investigation. It is not just that DOS could not confirm the investigation but rather that the AG's office affirmatively provided inaccurate information to DOS that cannot be reconciled with information it provided to WPU and now to the Wall Stret Journal.
This is beginning to look as if a special prosecutor is going to be needed to sort this all out-but Shulman, bathing luxuriously in all of her illegality, continues plowing ahead:
"Ms. Shulman's group is using the grant money to hire a consultant. The group has invited the public to attend on Tuesday a public meeting about the redevelopment plans at Flushing Town Hall. "We're going full steam ahead on this project," Ms. Shulman said in an interview. "This is really for the benefit of the community and I would hope that we will continue it—I see no reason why we shouldn't," she said. "The Willets Point people, they don't want to leave, and they will strike at whatever they can."
Benefit for the community? Don't make us laugh. Since when is TDC the community? Or the Mets Foundation? Or the Muss Organization? Shulman is the madam for a corporate capitalist brothel-and she's masquerading as the Red Cross.
And why shouldn't she act with impunity when the investigators are acting like Inspector Clouseaus? What the Journal has left out is any mention that WPU attended meetings and otherwise corresponded with AG office staff responsible for the investigation, right after Kittilsen told DOS that no one knew anything about an investigation. The irreconcilable behaviors of the AG's office are so striking; why was this salient fact omitted?
What is clear is that the AG needs to step up because it looks as if his office is either being dishonest or incompetent-not exactly how the state's chief law enforcement officer wants to be seen. As it stands now an illegal lobbying entity has now been funded by both the city and the state to advance private real estate interests-can you say crony capitalism? All to the detriment of property owners that dowager Shulman patronizingly spits on.
We'll give Jerry Antonacci the last word on this farce:
"Gerald Antonacci, who represents Willets Point Untied, wrote in a recent letter to Mr. Schneiderman that the Department of State and comptroller's office have "fiduciary responsibilities to insure that public funds are not disbursed" to a group that is the subject of a pending investigation. Without a ruling from the attorney general, he said, Ms. Shulman's group has continued "operating with impunity."