Yonkers Corruption Trial Provides Glimpse into the Seedy World of Westchester Poliitics

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Yonkers Corruption Trial Provides Glimpse into the Seedy World of Westchester Poliitics

March 20, 2012 - 13:32

SandyAnnabiNorman Oder writing on the Atlantic Yards Report provides an excellent, must read synopsis on the Yonkers Corruption Trial involving Noam Bramson's favorite developer, Forest City/Ratner, more commonly known on Talk of the Sound as "Developer #1".

Prosecutors have been hammering away at the claim by Sandy Annabi and Zehy Jereis that the only reason he gave her $174,000 in cash and gifts was because he was flirting with her, suggesting that a series of emails on Sandy Annabi's computer were manufactured after the fact as part of a defense strategy.

Oder offers many fascinating exchanges like this one:

At the end of the 6/9/06 meeting, "you asked Forest City Ratner for a job," Halperin related.

"I actually asked him [Scott Cantone] for an opportunity," Jereis tried to clarify.

"By opportunity you meant job," Halperin continued.

"Yes," acknowledged Jereis.

At that time, Halperin pointed out, Jereis was continuing to pay Annabi's mortgage, utility, and cable bills.

Witness Joe Galimi, a former Yonkers official and former aide to Brooklyn Assemblyman Joe Lentol, had testified he'd seen the press release, which announced Annabi's changed vote on Ridge Hill, on Jereis's computer.

"Not true," Jereis said.

"You told Mr. Galimi you helped draft Ms. Annabi's press release," Halperin continued.

"Not true," Jereis stated.

"The day after she issued the press release, you set a resume and cover letter" to Forest City, Halperin said.

"At the request of them," Jereis replied.

Halperin detailed three to five emails Jereis sent to Forest City and noted their testimony that he was "very persistent." Would he agree?

"That's not correct," maintained Jereis.

Forest City told you they would not give you a job until after Annabi's vote, Halperin suggested. (Actually, they said they put him off.)

"It was brought up," Jereis said. "They didn't get too into detail." He also denied that Forest City made clear that he wouldn't be hired until after Annabi's 7/11/06 vote.

Read the entire article.

There is 1 Comment

Again, no legislator in his or her right mind can cast a vote for Echo Bay. The earlier work by the Journal News reported several weeks earlier, gives more information, but Atlantic Yards reinforces what should be clear whether circumstantial or not.

What struck me early on was the Abbott and Costello routine played by two of the senior on-site Forest City executives about was he or was he not hired, if so, for what reason, is he connected to Annabi? Yes I am paraphrasing but it is there. These guys actually "left the Forest City payroll" (wanna bet?) and formed a consultant team. Of course they will prosper from this as the prosecutor should suffer from going after the low hanging fruit by leaving Forest City and others cited in the report out of the mix.

The clear moral imperative for New Rochelle city council is to tell them to take a hike. The compelling business reason echos this clearly. Where is the money? They want an abatement? Where is the parking? What about retail? You need (but really cannot by NYS agreement mandate with New Roc) dissect part of the Armory for a view?

The beat goes on and so should the beatdown. Forest City has their tentacles all over the place. Like one of their executives said in the Atlantic article, "the like to do big deals." Forest City has scaled down to a small deal except for power politics pride.

Get the damn thing out of the way and move on solidifying downtown development, assigning a small team which ought to include Tocci and D'Alois in my view, and put that right. Then a proper RFP to deal with what we have and need.

Politics is a filthy business. Look at this as another example of overreach and the influence of a powerful ENABLER, in this case, the Ratner clan. Hilary Clinton recently returned a significant contribution from a suspicious source to that person. Noam, Klugman and any others should do the same pronto.

Politics is dirty on the national scene. I cannot believe that both sides of the Washington aisle are preening and pawing the ground like bulls in the arena. I just revued Paul Ryan's plan. Not bad. Now I awake Obamas.

But I also reviewed my files on the Simpson - Bowles committee and I feel a combination of suicidal and homicidal. These estimable, experienced bi-partisan ex senators actually came up with the lions share of what both financial plans and budgets will have to do to tackle the national debt as well as short and long term budgets.

Get it, read it, and see what I mean. It is very relevant to New Rochelle as we too, operate under a scheme where hubris infects the minds and souls of political leaders who must have a uni-partisan way as well as clouding the many ideas they will take from this seminal committee work so as to appear "creative, responsive, and constituent friendly."

Happens here all the time. I am dedicating myself anew to being a modern day Diogenes and calling on you to think, react, and follow up with your council. Take no prisoners on this. Before you know it even existing streams of revenue will be lost thanks to "enablers" such as Jerome and his counterparts.

You want the real focus on Forest City/Ratner. Go read what John D'Alois or has prepared in loving care for you.

Kurt if you are out there, this one is for you. Cox shows 1,122 reads and there are sure more to follow. Will people react to all this and make your views made know on Forest City, Ratner, Echo Bay, DPW, Armory...... the time is now.

Give this one to the community. I actually beg you to give a damn.