Political Gain Outflanked Public Duty in Choosing Aqueduct Raceway Developer

eHezi Archives 15 Comments

New York State Inspector General Joseph Fisch asserted top state legislative leaders and the governor's office solicited  campaign contributions and political advantage in the process of awarding lucrative video slot machine contracts for the benefit of Aqueduct racetrack to a consortium that was later found to be disqualified.  Download Report to the Governor on the Integrity of Those Seeking to Operate the Racetracks at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga

The report was referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.
Inspector General Joseph Fisch asserts the selection of Aqueduct Entertainment Group in january of this year by Gov. David Paterson, Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson, and NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver followed a process that removed lobbying restrictions and let campaign cash flow to decision makers.

According to the report, NYS Senate leaders leaked an internal memo containing competitors' bid information to AEG, originally a low-ranked bidder, helping it move up in the processing. An assistant to Senate Secretary Angelo Aponte e-mailed the memo to AEG consultant Hank Sheinkopf, and Mr. Aponte, when questioned, claimed not to recall why that was done. Mr. Sheinkopf invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in declining to answer.

Mr. Fisch was forwarding findings by his investigators, who subpoenaed documents and witnesses, to the prosecutors. He was also sending it to the state Legislative Ethics Commission to review the actions of Messrs. Sampson and Aponte, as well as Senate President Malcolm Smith.

The report questioned testimony given under oath to Mr. Fisch's investigators by several officials, including Messrs, Sampson and Aponte and Senate Racing & Wagering Committee Chairman Eric Adams, who also pushed for AEG's selection, citing statements as doubtful in light of other information or "straining credulity."

Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook said they were reviewing the report, but added it was "indisputable" that Mr. Paterson subsequently refashioned the selection process, leading to a new contractor who will likely be breaking ground next week after years of delay.

Mr. Sampson said he will continue an internal review that already led to recommendations for a lobbyist ban, pre-licensing of bidders and other steps. "Mistakes were made at various levels of government, and we must collectively learn a lesson," he said.

After AEG was disqualified, the contract to build and operate about 4,525 of the machines at the thoroughbred track in Queens was awarded to Genting New York.




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eHeziPolitical Gain Outflanked Public Duty in Choosing Aqueduct Raceway Developer

Comments 15

  1. The only reason Eric Schneiderman is returning the money, because the 2 New Papers (Post & Daily News)endorse his Opponent Daniel Donovan.
    Schneiderman says he will “Clean up Albany”..I cant see how that is possible, since is Part of the problem!!!!!

  2. The timing of this report is really irrelevant-the fact of the matter is that it fingers the corrupt pols up in Albany and if your o.k with sending back to Albany for another term then shame on you. The democratic candidate for Atty Gen is ashole buddies with these crooks and in fact helped to get into their current positions within the democratic senate structure-ASC accepted money from AEG et al in order to influence her vote on the Queens racino and the fact is as indicated in the I.G. report is that she took the money with no questions asked.Now that the report has been made public ASC &Eric S. are now saying that they are going to return their ill-gotten contributions-too late.

  3. The Democratic Party is controlled by disorganized crime.NYTimes and JNews endorse Andrew Cuomo.Some of their previous endorsements are Alan Hevesi for comptroller pleaded guilty to play for pay using state retirees pension money,Eliot Spitzer unindicted and please tell me why, had state police officials write false reports against political oppenent.What other illegal activity did Spitzer do while attorny general?Why is it Cuomo does nothing until the NYPost exposes Albany corruption and than none of the Democratic Party crooks go to jail? Why hasn’t Cuomo returned the hundreds of thousands of dollars from Sheldon Silver and his law firm? The only good Democrat is a defeated Democrat.You can say that again and again and again.

  4. Like everything else in the corrupt state of NY and the US, this is all about the political timing of the release of this report. As for the commie guy, laughable, but then it’s Yonkers.

  5. senator cousins has been accepting hundreds of thousands of senate democratic money. eric schneiderman announced today that he is retuening the money. cousins needs to returnit also. she says she is not oinvolved! she got the money !!!!!!! thats involvement!!!!

  6. ASC on CH 12 states that the NYS I.G. report absolves her-it is true that she might not have been involved in the day to day dealing with A.E.G. but the fact of the matter is that she accepted over $4,0000 as an inducement to buy her vote which the I.G. clearly points out-the crux of the matter is that her vote(s) can be purchased as evidenced in this 308 page report ASC is just as corrupt as Sen’s Adams, Smith, Sampson and Sec’y of State Apointe .

  7. ASC rec’d cash on Dec 4, 2009 and again on Jan 4-6, Jan 11 2010 to buy her vote on the racino in Queens-info is on pages 238 & 239- I quess she will be another democrat along with Sen’s Sampson, Smith, Thompson,Huntley and Adams who will be in cuffs in a matter of time. Sen Jeff Klein is also mentioned on page 158 and apparently he was aware of what was transpiring but apparently remained above the slime.Curious to see the spin ASC puts on this revelation despite the evidence against her.

  8. Astounding but true,DiNapoli the Sheldon Silver appointee to Comptroller doesn’t have an accounting degree and he oversees all state and local financial matters. The only good Democrat is a defeated Democrat.

  9. And Sheldon Silver had DiNapoli put in charge of the state pension money as Comptroller.Scary!Where was Andy Cuomo the Democratic attorney general during all of this?Why is it Silvers law firm has given over $250,000 to the Andy Cuomo campaign? Greed and corruption is good in the Democratic Party. The only good Democrat is a defeated Democrat.

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