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February 13, 2012

Forest City's alleged actions in Ridge Hill corruption case, if not illegal, seem to violate corporate Code of Conduct

Atlantic Yards Report

Oh, right. We keep forgetting Forest City has a code of conduct. And apparently, so do they.

Somehow the Forest City Enterprises Code of Legal and Ethical Conduct didn't bar the corporate behavior--noncriminal, apparently, but ethically questionable--alleged in the Yonkers corruption case that goes to trial tomorrow in federal court and will surely mention the role of subsidiary Forest City Ratner.

By my reading, if the code bars not merely bribes but also direct or indirect "improper" payments, it should have barred such behavior.

That means either 1) the allegation isn't true or 2) Forest City's Code of Conduct is toothless.

Hmm, that's a stumper. We're going to flip a coin, which has Bruce Ratner's face on both sides.

Here's the relevant excerpt from the code of conduct:

2. No bribe, kickback or other improper payment or promise of same shall be authorized, approved or made, directly or indirectly, by or on behalf of FCE in connection with any of its business.

That's a pretty blanket statement.

Not merely a bribe, or a kickback, but "improper payment or promise of same."

It seems to cover the actions alleged in the case. We should, in the next few weeks, know more.


Posted by eric at February 13, 2012 11:18 AM