Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WPU to DOI: Do Your Job!

WPU has written a strong letter to Commissioner Gil Hearn at DOI exhorting her to do her job: recover the $450,000 that Claire Shulman's phony charity fraudulently received from NYC EDC. Her actions are imperative because of AG Schneiderman's failure to sanction the wrongdoers in his investigation and insist, at the very least, that the ill gotten gains be returned to the tax payers. Here is the full text of the letter:

July 17, 2012

Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn
City of New York Department of Investigation
Complaint Bureau
80 Maiden Lane, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10038

Dear Commissioner Gill Hearn:

We read with great interest in the latest edition of the Queens Chronicle* about your department’s yeoman-like work in combating fraud and corruption in the City of New York. Towards the end of the article Robert Holden, a Queens civic leader, made the following point:

But Queens, he said, always seems to be ground zero for corruption in the city. He cited the recent finding of an investigation into the Willets Point development plan by the state attorney general that found local groups, including one headed by former Borough President Claire Shulman, engaged in illegal lobbying practices.”

What Attorney General Schneiderman determined was that NYCEDC funneled$450,000.00 to the Flushing Willets Point Corona Local Development Corporation (the “LDC”) for lobbying – something that both NYCEDC and the LDC were barred from doing by New York State law. This illegal activity is of great significance to us, since the aim of NYCEDC was to utilize this illegal method to advance the cause of removing us from the property that we own at Willets Point.

We were buoyed by the Attorney General’s enforcement action but, at the same time, disappointed by the fact that he failed to actually sanction the illegal activity that put our property in jeopardy – failing even to insist that the LDC return the illegally advanced city taxpayer funds from NYCEDC. As a consequence of the AG’s limited enforcement effort, we believe it is incumbent on you and your agency to commence an action to recover these funds from the LDC and return them to the people of New York.

If you have any questions we would, of course, be delighted to meet with you in order to detail further evidence of corruption in the relationship between NYCEDC and the LDC. But at the very least, the ill-gotten lobbying money needs to be recovered immediately since the entities involved have both admitted their culpability in this scheme.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Gerald Antonacci, On behalf of Willets Point United Inc.