July 17, 2007
Revolving door: consultants AKRF and Habib worked for Ratner, then ESDC
Atlantic Yards Report examines the revolving door between local and state government and development consultants.
Here it is apparently OK for:
1) a developer (in this case Forest City Ratner) to hire consultants (in this case AKRF and Philip Habib and Associates) to advise on a development plan
2) those consultants to later evaluate the environmental impact of that development plan on behalf of a state agency, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC)
3) that agency to pursue the potentially conflicting goals of fostering economic development and evaluating the environmental impact of such development, and
4) the consultants' work for that agency be reimbursed by the developer.
Until recently, the courts didn't see anything wrong with consultants advising both the developer and government. But the judge in a lawsuit filed by groups in West Harlem ruled differently.
NoLandGrab: The relationship is only troubling when one assumes that the government is supposed to be acting in the interest of its citizens, not developers. If courts start taking good-government crybabies seriously, then nothing would ever get built anywhere, right?
Posted by lumi at July 17, 2007 10:17 AM