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August 8, 2011

A change at the ESDC: executive Juanita Scarlett, who had (some) AY responsibility, moves on after six months (updated/corrected)

Atlantic Yards Report

Mrs. Errol Louis is moving on from the ESDC.

From City & State First Read, the newsletter of City Hall and The Capitol:

Today is Juanita Scarlett's last day at the Empire State Development Corporation, where she served since February as executive vice president for strategy, policy and public affairs. Scarlett, a Democratic operative who also worked for Cuomo in the attorney general's office, is taking an unspecified job in the private sector.

I wrote about Scarlett in February, so that's a pretty swift departure, suggesting 1) a really good offer, 2) some internal agency tensions, or 3) both.

I'm told Scarlett had supervisory responsibility over Arana Hankin, Director of the Atlantic Yards Project.

So presumably Scarlett's replacement might grapple with the ESDC's not-so-stringent approach to Forest City Ratner's (and contractors') repeated violations of the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments.

Update/correction

I got a message from the ESDC responding to the earlier version of this post:

It is factually inaccurate and establishes a correlation between Juanita Scarlett’s departure and the management of the Atlantic Yards Project which absolutely does not exist and is nothing more than unfounded speculation on your part....

To clarify, Arana Hankin’s direct supervisor has always been Peter Davidson, ESD’s Executive Director. The Atlantic Yards Project was never in Juanita Scarlett’s portfolio; she was consulted from time to time on the public affairs and intergovernmental aspects of the project, but that is all.

I don't think I was suggesting that Scarlett's departure had anything to do with the Atlantic Yards project. Internal agency tensions could refer to a lot of things.

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NoLandGrab: "Factually inaccurate?" ESDC's prickly defensiveness is pretty amusing considering that almost everything they've put forth about Atlantic Yards -- including what their attorneys have told judges in multiple courtrooms -- could be accurately described as "factually inaccurate."

And as for "unfounded specualtion," well, is there a more apt description of the Atlantic Yards project's alleged "benefits" ESDC has been touting now for the better part of a decade?

Posted by eric at August 8, 2011 11:42 AM