Wednesday, September 12, 2012

EDC's Flees Hearing on Restructuring

Crain's Insider is reporting on the efforts of Willets Point United to get a court hearing on the restructuring of EDC after the AG had found it had conducted an illegal lobbying campaign:

City Opposes Soapbox for Willets Foes

"The property owners and tenants battling Willets Point redevelopment are seeking a public hearing on the reorganization of the Economic Development Corp., but EDC says none is required and that if one were held, project foes should not get a soapbox. The agency wrote to the state Supreme Court that hearings on reorganizations are not customary, and in any case Willets Point United members have "no stake" in the reorganization and "no standing to be heard." A WPU spokesman called that "absurd" because the group's members would be pushed off their land by the project. It was WPU's complaint about EDC's lobbying that led to the agency's seeking to drop its status as a local development corporation."

What Crain's is missing here is that the law requires the hearing, and NO provision in the law allows anyone to waive the hearing. (N-PCL § 907(b).) What also needs to be emphasized is the reason that EDC is running away from scrutiny-it wants to be able to skirt the lobbying prohibition for local development corporations, and it is engaging in a sleight-of-hand to evade the law.
What's troubling here is that apparently the AG who failed to sanction the illegal activity has given the go ahead to this subterfuge-adding insult to injury for those property owners who were harmed-and not made whole-by the criminal scheme and the irresolute law enforcement of Eric Schneiderman.
What this clearly underscores is that local law enforcement has been an abject failure in the pursuit of illegal activity by NYC EDC and its co-conspirators over at the Shulman LDC-highlighting the low regard that property rights holds in this New York environment. Because of that the entire Willets Point, Corona and Flushing communities are being threatened by a giant mall that will finally put some money into the pockets of the Wilpons-something that the Mets have yet to do.