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June 1, 2007

Tape of Yonkers council meeting sought

The Journal News
By Jorge Fitz-Gibbon

videotape.jpg You can't make this stuff up. The Feds handed down subpoenas for information about the Yonkers City Council's activities concerning the approval of Bruce Ratner's controversial Ridge Hill plan, but the video tapes of the meeting are missing. Though the feds have the audio tapes, these curious little hiccups in the "conspiracy probe" leads critics of Bruce Ratner to wonder where this is all leading:

Federal investigators went back to City Hall seeking video of a controversial council meeting, going so far as to subpoena a local TV station for its footage of the session.

Yonkers officials said they have yet to find the videotape sought by the FBI of the July 11, 2006, meeting at Saunders Trades and Technical High School during which the $600 million Ridge Hill Village development was approved.

But they also downplayed the significance of the request, noting that investigators already have audio and written records, which were delivered to the FBI in March to comply with a subpoena.

"They have the annotated agendas. They have the audiotapes. All they don't have is the people sitting in their chairs," said Harvey Kaminsky, counsel for the City Council's Democratic majority. "It's just very hard to believe that that's the key to the case."

Both the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office have refused to comment on the conspiracy probe.
The city complied with the first subpoena, delivering two boxes of records to FBI offices in White Plains on March 15.

But Yonkers Corporation Counsel Frank Rubino said federal investigators last week notified the city that video of the July 11, 2006, meeting was missing from the records. The meetings are routinely videotaped.


Thanks to Community First Development Coalition for keeping us informed. Stay tuned, folks!

Posted by lumi at June 1, 2007 9:22 AM