Today NYC Comptroller John Liu wrote a scathing letter to the mayor concerning the, “law-breaking” culture at EDC. The Observer has the story:
"City Comptroller John C. Liu today sent a letter to Mayor Mike Bloomberg to change what he called the “law-breaking” culture at the Economic Development Corporation.The missive comes as the EDC has been ordered to restructure as part of a recent settlement reached with New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who found that the agency illegally lobbied City Council members as part of their effort to redevelop Willets Point in Queens and Coney Island in Brooklyn."
Liu also indicated to the mayor that the so-called restructuring of EDC seemed to be a gimmick designed to continue the unlawful use of city funds to lobby: “The legal restructuring of the EDC, which appears to have been undertaken so that the impermissible lobbying can continue, is clearly insufficient. It amounts to nothing more than business as usual, notwithstanding knowingly allowing the use of taxpayer dollars for unlawful purposes,” wrote Mr. Liu."
Even more pointed was Liu's call for heads to roll: "Installing new leadership and opening the books would help change the EDC’s law-breaking culture, which, as documented in the settlement with the Attorney General, used the agency’s budget as a political slush fund for illegal lobbying.” As the Liu letter goes on to strongly say:
"The legal restructuring of the EDC, which appears to have been undertaken so that the impermissible lobbying can continue, is clearly insufficient. It amounts to nothing more than business as usual, notwithstanding knowingly allowing the use of taxpayer dollars for unlawful purposes. … I urge you to move swiftly to identify those senior officials from City Hall and the EDC responsible for the flagrant and repeated law-breaking activities, and hold them accountable."
What Liu needed to add was a call for EDC to return the $450,000 it sent to Claire Shulman's LDC for the ilegal lobbying use. Even more pointed would have been a call for the funds to be sent to Wilklets Point United because of the "pain and suffering" the property owners suffered because of the illegal EDC scheme. As we said this morning, this is far from over, so stay tuned.