Wednesday, November 23, 2011

High Comedy in High Office

The Times Union has a story on the efforts being made by AG Schneiderman to expand the powers of his office to investigate public corruption: "Cracking down on public corruption was a major theme of last year's election, but Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says he was rebuffed by the Cuomo administration when he sought to expand his office's jurisdiction in the area."

Poor Eric, he isn't being given enough power to root out all of the bad guys. Of course, this is all quite laughable considering his Keystone Kops routine involving the supposed investigation his office has into the illegal lobbying of Claire Shulman. If the AG is either unwilling or unable to use the power of his office to get to the bottom of an illegal scheme-one that involves the billionaire mayor of NYC-to deprive small property owners of their Constitutional rights, then it serves no public good to give the guy greater authority to root out corruption.

Willets Point is a test case and so far Schneiderman-and the hapless Comptroller DiNapoli-are flunking the test. But then again the AG is in good company since his predecessor sat on the investigation for a year and a half and pocket vetoed any action after Mike Bloomberg endorsed him on September, 6, 2010. Cuomo went on to become governor and in one of his first appointments placed Joan McDonald in charge of the DOT.

Why is this significant? Because McDonald used to be an executive of the NYC EDC-the lead agency promoting Willets Point development. State DOT is responsible for the approval of ramps off of the Van Wyck-the linchpin of the development. This is therefore a target rich environment and we suggest that the AG accomplish this test of his bona fides on corruption before begging the governor-of all people!-for more authority.