Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Technical Memo Subterfuge

One additional point on the Judge Madden ruling against the city. Recall that EDC has argued that it should be allowed to proceed with its phony Phase I because of its vaunted Technical Memorandum. As we have pointed out this is sheer arrogance because no independent expert has evaluated the memo and given the agency's propensity for deception it would not be wise to do so-and the judge certainly won't.

Madden also addresses WPU's right to request that she vacate the original order dismissing the case-and points to the issue of misrepresentation as a just cause for doing so. As the judge says;

"Here, in the original Article 78 proceeding, the FGEIS assumed the ramps would be approved and did not analyze alternatives if approval was not obtained. Additionally, the City acknowledged that the ramps were an integral part of the plan and that the plan as conceived could not proceed without the ramps, and repeatedly and clearly stated that it would not seek to exercise its power of eminent domain prior to obtaining approval of the ramps. In reaching the decision to dismiss the petition, I relied upon the City’s representations.

As the City has now changed its position and is seeking to exercise its powers of eminent domain without approval of the ramps, indirect contradiction of its prior representations, and based on the significance of the ramps to the plan, I conclude that the integrity of the decision-making process has been impacted and sufficient reasons exist for me to consider vacating my prior judgment...

I conclude that I have the inherent power to entertain petitioners’ concerns regarding the City’s new staged approach to the development of Willets Point and to consider the adequacy of Technical Memorandum, and that it is in the interests of justice to do so."

What the judge is trying to say is that the city is engaged in an illegal segmentation-trying to avoid the ramp review and accomplish the development of Willets Point in piecemeal fashion. Professor Rick Hills lays this out in a blog post: "Judge Madden ruled today against New York City in the Willets Point litigation, holding that the City's changing its position regarding the need for a highway ramp undermined the factual basis for her earlier decision upholding the City's final generic environmental impact statement ("FGEIS"). In effect, she accused the City of playing a game of "bait-and-switch" -- obtaining judicial approval of an FGEIS on the basis of one set of facts and then changing those facts after securing a favorable ruling."

What we have year is an ends justify the means mentality that sacrifices integrity and ethical behavior for unscrupulous representations before the city council as well as the court. Remember living wage? Just another example of the bait and switch philosophy that EDC believes is justified by its vision of the future development of Willets Point-and anyone who gets in the way of that vision better watch out!