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March 30, 2012

Developer comments on Yonkers verdict: "This trial was not about the actions of Forest City Ratner" (not quite)

Atlantic Yards Report

Yes, when Forest City Ratner executive Bruce Bender wrote in an email to then-lobbyist (and now-Yonkers Mayor) Mike Spano, "No fucking around. Get Sandy on board," he surely meant to add, "but no funny business — we only do things on the up and up and we would never, never, never, ever condone anything remotely shady."

[Wink, wink.]

A tidbit from the expanded New York Times coverage of the Yonkers corruption trial verdict:

“This trial was not about the actions of Forest City Ratner,” the company said Thursday, adding it had “no knowledge of the financial relationship between Ms. [Sandy] Annabi and Mr. [Zehy] Jereis.”

Well, it wasn't, and it was about Forest City Ratner.

After all, would Bruce Bender and Scott Cantone, who ran the government relations office and hired Zehy Jereis as a reward for his helping get Council Member Sandy Annabi to flip her vote, still be with Forest City if there weren't some clouds over that behavior?

Yes, Bender and Cantone testified, they had no knowledge about the financial relationship between Annabi and Jereis. But they also made no effort to check for his criminal record, or to request the reports Jereis was supposed to send in to validate his no-show consulting job. And they made sure he got paid.


Posted by eric at March 30, 2012 11:29 AM