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January 7, 2010

At Senate hearing, ESDC general counsel defends BALDC, but isn't even sure she's on the board; Perkins skeptical of PACB avoidance

Atlantic Yards Report

The state Senate hearing Tuesday chaired by Senator Bill Perkins mainly concerned eminent domain reform, blight, and the curious case of ubiquitous environmental consultant AKRF.

But some significant questions also were raised about the murky Brooklyn Arena Local Development Corporation (BALDC), which issued $511 million in tax-exempt bonds for the arena.

Notably, a BALDC board member--Anita Laremont, the Empire State Development Corporation's (ESDC) general counsel--seemed unsure she was on the board, and offered questionable explanations about why the BALDC was created and why review by the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) was not required.

(Photos by Tracy Collins)

And while the BALDC was described as "lessening the burdens of government," it also appears to be a way to avoid some governmental responsibilities, given that all the board members are governmental officials. "We know that the effort was to avoid PACB and to avoid scrutiny or accountability," Perkins said after the hearing.

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Columbia Spectator, Perkins kicks off hearings on eminent domain reform

Posted by lumi at January 7, 2010 6:58 AM