Thursday, March 15, 2012

When it Came to CityTime Corrupt The Mayor and DOI Worked Incessantly at Knowing Nothing

DOI Covered-UP CityTime Corruption For Several Years       When Inside Albany Host Lewis Asked Deprtment of Investigations Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn why the City Did Not Catch the Corrupt CityTime Contract for 7 Years?

The Commissioner Answered With A Bunch of BS.  Hearn: CityTime was a sophisticated and complicated project. There were a lot of intangibles and savvy individuals doing the corruption.  NY1 Online: Top City Investigator Discusses CityTime Settlement * The DOI Commissioner was saying she and the city comptroller Thompson missed CityTime 'kickbacks' Project boss Gerard Denault pocketed $5.6M: feds(NYP) * Alleged CityTime 'brains' Mark Mazer had an arrest in 1999 for larceny Dec 2010

What the NY1 host should have asked the DOI Commissioner after her gobble de gook was about a letter sent to her in 2003 by the former head of the Office of Payroll Richard Valcich outlining the corruption that was going on. In that letter Valcich used the word tangible.  In the NY1 interview DOI Commissioner used the word intangible.
In 2003 Valcich wrote: the city had spent "approximately $35 million on CityTime and does not have a tangible system to show for it. Now we learn that after spending $722  million ($690 Over the Budget) on CityTime, that the contract is corrupt. And nobody in the city knew what was going on.

Clue One Valcich Letter
In 2003 Valcich wrote: the city had spent "approximately $35 million on CityTime and does not have a tangible system to show for it.* Ex-payroll boss blew whistle on CityTime in scathing 2003 letter and nothing was done(NYDN) " Letter found by Liu reveals shady CityTime job offer pitch in '02 from main contractor to Valcich (NYDN). * Aide gave mayor CityTimely warning (NYP) 2007

Clue Two Bondy Knew Nothing?
When NY1 Lewis Asked the DOI Commissioner about Joel Bondy who was in charge of the project after Valcich, Hearn said that the investigation is ongoing and that Bondy has not been charged.  This statement forced the views of the interview to suspend believe.  Is the commissioner saying the Bondy knew less than the man who had the job before him, Valcich who wrote the letter to DOI in 2003 warning of corruption.  If the company running the CityTime project offering Valcich a job in 2003 did not set off bells of something was wrong, what does?  To date not one single city employee has been indicted. One of the main things that happened was that Valcich resigned as director of OPA in 2004 and was replaced by Joel Bondy. Bondy was then a consultant on CityTime for Spherion Inc., the firm tasked to certify the quality of all CityTime contractors. Spherion paid Bondy $307,000 the year before he moved to OPA, payroll records show. Soon after Bondy arrived, the cost overruns on CityTime spiraled even higher

Clue Three  Gonzalez Break Crumbs
The Commission said her investigation did not start until 2010.  A year after Daily News reporter Juan Gonzalez according to the shows host starting exposing corruption going on with CityTime.  Gonzalez reported that a whistleblowers wrote a letters to DOI in 2008 to warn them of fake times sheets and hours claims where being made my CityTime. * As scandal erupts and arrests are made, warning signs for CityTime fraud were there all along(NYDN)

CityTime a bigger scandal even than Boss Tweed (NYDN) Famous kings of corruption, including Jimmy Walker and Stanley Friedman cannot compare.   The Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez takes a victory lap on CityTime, which he compares to some of the biggest fraudsters in the city’s illustrious history. How Mayor Michael Bloomberg could have allowed the payroll scam to happen, though, is still unknown


Clue Four Other Media Break Crumbs

There were other warning  that DOI ignored in the press that CityTime was corrupt Time-Out Proposed For CityTime System - City Limits Magazine(May 19, 2008) * City Council to probe CityTime; timekeeping and payroll system(Dec 18, 2009) * A second reason why the city knew was a CNN IRerort in 2009 by an anonymous city worker who said that the project was corrupt. 2 of the three people mentioned in the report have been indicted * CityTime Scandal Contractors Tried to Hire City Critic (Village Voice)

Smell Test: Nobody Knew In City Government About CityTime Corruption? Not one single city employee has been indicted
"We have developed evidence that the corruption on the CityTime project was epic in duration, magnitude and scope." U.S. Attorney Bharara 

Bloomberg's Orwelling Managing Of Corruption Spin
"We have developed evidence that the corruption on the CityTime project was epic in duration, magnitude and scope," U.S. Attorney Bharara  32 days after the mayor said CityTime did a good job he Demanded SAIC Repay City(WSJ)* Just hours before Denault's arrest was announced yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg defended the unfinished electronic-payroll system on his weekly radio show, saying, "We actually did a pretty good job."  He later expressed gratitude "that the city's Department of Investigation found the fraud, and is addressing it with the US Attorney's Office."


After Two Hearings Why Didn't The Council Shut Down CityTime?

True News: City Council Held Hearings on the Corrupt CityTime ...

 Now They Play Council to scrutinize deals over 10M (NYDN). What Will they Catch? * Mayor Takes Partial Blame For CityTime Scandal * Councilwoman Says More Arrests Needed In CityTime Scandal 

Contractor Strikes $500 Million Deal in City Payroll Scandal(NYT) * CityTime Contractor to Pay City(WSJ) * CityTime Firm Agrees To Pay Back Millions Under New Deal(NY1)* Boss Tweed would be proud(NYDN)* $500M payback for CityTime fiasco(NYP) *   Mayor Bloomberg can be glad not to get stuck with the cost of CityTime (NYDN Ed) Contractor's admission of guilt and check soften worst scandal of administration. The News also says that Bloomberg lucked out when the corporation in charge of CityTime agreed to pay most of the stolen money back * Science Applications International Corp. agreed to pay a record $500 million to avoid federal prosecution for its role in the scandal-tarred CityTime project.* Early 2013 Trial Planned for Defendants in CityTime Case(NYT)* Analysis: CityTime Is Scandal Time (NBC) How could such a massive fraud occur on the mayor’s watch?

The CityTime Cover Up(True News)

A Night of Big Ugly
Less cushy pension for future public workers, up to seven Las Vegas-style casinos, and a doubled DNA database to fight crime and free innocent people.  The pension cut benefits for future public employees — saving the city about $22 billion over 30 years after reaching a deal with Gov. Cuomo. Cuomo’s original pension proposal would have saved $113 billion over the next three decades. Cuomo also agreed to raise the future retirement age from 62 to 63 and not 65, as he had proposed. The final deal was expected to include the 401(k) option for future non-union high-earners with salaries at or above the $70,000 to $80,000 range.  The unions fought back against the 401(K)option for all government workers. While his original plan required pension contributions of 4 to 6 percent of salary, the final deal would keep the lowest earners at 3 percent. * And during Sunshine Week, the closed-door, no bill text until the last minute approach was panned. There’s money in the budget to raise judicial pay for the first time since 1999. (AP)* Messages of necessity were provided by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who made no public appearances and spoke only through press releases. This enabled the Legislature to circumvent the required three-day aging process for bills.* Cuomo Releases Video Message(YNN) * Cuomo on transparency, or lack thereof in Albany: “You can’t live your ife in a goldfish bowl.* Deals are often done in the dark in Albany.*

Cuomo, Admitting Setbacks, Says He Asked for the Moon(NYT)

Passed a law making official the new teacher-evaluation system agreed on last month.

Passed a proposed constitutional amendment authorizing up to seven non-Indian casinos at locations to be determined by the Legislature, likely in 2013. Lawmakers would have to pass the amendment again next year before it goes to voters in November 2013. * There are still details to be ironed out, but this gets the ball rolling on adding up to seven casinos around the state. (BN) * In 2011, racinos spent $1.6 million lobbying to have exclusive rights to locate casinos in their facilities. (Newsday) * The gambling amendment lacks specifics, other than to add up to seven casinos on non-Indian lands. Said Silver: “We will deal with where, when, how next year in legislation.”

Passed a Senate- and Assembly-drawn redistricting plan, and were expected to approve reforms to make the process more independent in the future. * says "we have taken a major step toward finally reforming the state's broken redistricting process. *Senate Democrats exit session over dispute on redistricting debate" (LoHud)Senate Democrats walked out of the chamber before midnight last night after a motion was adopted to end the debate on redistricting. As a result, they missed the vote to approve the new lines and a constitutional amendment, which passed the chamber 36-0 * Cuomo: Redistricting Amendment A Major Step Toward Fixing Broken Sysytem   After months of veto promises and condemnations, Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement at 5:35 a.m. this morning praising the passage of a constitutional amendment as"a major step toward finally reforming the state's broken redistricting process" 

Awalkout by Senate Democrats — the most tangible expression of frustration over Cuomo’s reversal on a promise to veto legislative districts drawn by lawmakers. (TU/NYT/Newsday) * “So much for change coming to Albany,” said Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens). “The bad guys won.” (DN) . Lawyers for LATFOR must appear in Federal Court in Brooklyn at 11 a.m. to offer an update on their lines. The hope is Cuomo will affix his signature before then, preventing a judicial takeover of state redistricting.*Ed Koch ‘disappointed that the governor compromised’(TU) * As a result of the democratic walk out, the vote on the legislative lines drawn by LATFOR was 36-0, which means the four IDC members all voted “yes.” (They voted “no” on Tier VI, howeve*The Assembly passed a bill, sponsored by Speaker Sheldon Silver, that would move the state legislative primaries up from Sept. 11 to correspond with the court-ordered US Senate/House primaries on June 26. The Senate seems uninterested in following suit.*And Here It Is: Cuomo Hails Redistricting Deal (NYO)*Black and Hispanic Lawmakers threatened to sue over the plan. * Cuomo: Vote ‘Yes’ Next Year On Redistricting Amendment, Or Commit ‘Political Suicide’(YNN) * Cuomo to sign NY Legislature's redistricting plan(WSJ) * Skelos: Cuomo has signed redistricting(BN) * Senate Democrats Renew Redistricting Court Challenge(YNN) * Dan Collins: “Strange, isn’t it, that our Democratic governor and Democratic Assembly were so willing to see the Senate stay in the opposition’s hands? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the one time the Democrats took control in the upper chamber, the result looked like a combination of the Greek parliament and a soccer game riot.”* The assistant AG representing Cuomo in today’s redistricting hearing in Brooklyn did not object to special master Roanne Mann’s congressional redistricting plan, despite the governor’s criticism of it.*Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said the Democrats acted like “little children” when they walked out on the redistricting vote early this morning.*Video of Mike Gianaris telling LATFOR to "shove it." * Citizens Union continued to have Cuomo’s back. * Redistricting Supported By Minority Lawmakers(NYDN)

An Update on New York Redistricting(NYT)

Labor unions condemned the Tier VI proposal, even in its modified format. (AFL-CIO) * E.J. McMahon called that reaction “absurdly (if predictably) over the top” and said this was a “missed opportunity” for fiscal reform. (Torch) * Debate on Tier VI in Asmbly. Abbate has unenviable job of defending Cuomo's program bill. 'Ask the governor" on why NYPD, FD carved out.*Mike Bloomberg said that Cuomo deserved an “A-Plus” for resisting the unions’ pressure.* After Vote-Whipping Marathon, Assembly Passes Tier VI(YNN) * New York Lawmakers Vote to Limit Public Pensions (NYT)*EJ McMahon on the new Tier VI: “Governor Cuomo’s hyperbole machine is in overdrive today.” Much more reaction – both positive and negative – can be had here.* Here’s the vote tally for pension reform.

Lawmakers also expanded the state’s DNA databank to include samples from most every crime, excepting misdemeanor marijuana possession charges. (NYT)*  DNA database expansion * The DNA database deal exempts people convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession from providing a sample if they have no prior criminal record.*New York Expands DNA Databank(NYO)

Landmark bill will save city $22 billion in public employee pension costs(NYP)* In Albany, Plan to Cut Pensions Takes Shape; Redistricting Moves Ahead(NYT) * Pension Deal, Casino Plans Set in Albany(WSJ) * State Senate Republicans Stall Abortion Rights Bill(WSJ) * Here’s Your 3 A.M. Pension Bill (YNN) * Albany Mega Deal To Cover Redistricting, Casinos, Pension(WCBS) * Cuomo accepts Legislature's redistricting proposa(SI Advance)

Reformers: Cloud Over Sunshine Week At The State Capitol(Albany Watch)

Edpada Trial

Piggy Pay-dro’s 60G sushi: feds(NYP)* Espada and Son Lived Well, but Deny Theft From Nonprofit(NYT)  * Espada Trial Begins(WSJ) * Former Bronx Senator Maintains His Innocence As His Corruption Trial Begins(NY1) * Redistricting and pensions are passed(TU) Ex-Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr.’s corruption trial started yesterday, with prosecutors accusing the senator of massive theft, and his defense attorney chalking it up to sloppy bookkeeping. Espada Jr.’s attorney pledged to show a jury that “none of Espada’s expenditures were theft.”*Kept relatives on Soundview Healthcare Network payroll: witness(NYP) * Aide Says Spending by Espada Raised Issue(NYT)

Election 2012  Quinn’s wedding planning fun(NYDN) * Staten Island Republicans nominate Grimm for 2nd term(SI Advance) * What’s the hurry, Mike?(NYP) The Post is flabbergasted that Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long wouldn’t throw his support behind Rep. Bob Turner, who it claims stands a reasonable chance at defeating Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand * Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy, who controls the lion’s share of the weighted convention vote, backed Wendy Long to take on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, saying Rep. Bob Turner entered “too late in the game.” * The Brooklyn GOP has unanimously endorsed embattled Rep. Michael Grimm and is “100 percent” behind him, according to Chairman Craig Eaton.*SI Rep. Molinari backs Turner for Senate(NYP) * The Jewish Voice endorsed David Storobin over Lew Fidler in next Tuesday’s Senate special election.*The Senate GOP is still opposed to moving the state legislative primaries from Sept. 11 to the court-ordered June 26 US Senate/House primary date.*Rory Lancman Declines Congressional Bid(politico)

Lancman to Get Back in the Race Friday

Breaking Gary Ackerman announces he's not running for re-election. (Capital Tonight) * Gary Ackerman to Not Seek Reelection(Politico) * Rep. Ackerman Says He Won't Seek Re-Election (WNYC) *Ackerman Won’t Seek Re-election(NYT) * Colorful Political Career Comes to an End(NYT)

Ratner Lobbyists Corruption Trial Continues
Yonkers trial update: Council President says Annabi said she'd never gotten benefit from Jereis, and that people erroneously thought he controlled her vote(Atlantic Yards Review) * Man Says Gifts to Lawmaker Were for Love(NYT)

Powell on pause? Crusading Times columnist sits out Yonkers corruption trial (involving Forest City Ratner) that he put on the agenda (Atlantic Yards Review)  Michael Powell was on a roll. The Times's crusading "Gotham" columnist, who since his debut last May has challenged the mayor, the governor, and other pillars of the power structure, had Brooklyn developer Forest City Ratner--tinged but not charged in two political corruption cases--in his sights.

How Bruce Ratner Wins Approval for his Projects and the Trial (True News)

Poll Finds Most City Voters Support Release of Teacher Ratings(NYT)

Deal Reached for Former Site of St. Vincent’s Hospital(NYT) A compromise between a developer and groups opposing plans to build housing at the former site of St. Vincent’s will include the construction of a school. * Condos at St. Vinny’s(NYP)

On the day that HBO ceased all future production of its gritty racetrack series “Luck” following the death of another thoroughbred during filming Tuesday, Cuomo made his own formal inquiry into the recent rash of fatal breakdowns at Aqueduct, the Daily News reports.

Lured by Visions of Real Estate Profits, Nonprofit Group Stumbled(NYT) The Community Preservation Corporation has teetered at the brink of collapse after straying far from its original mission of financing the creation of apartments for those in need.


$1B NY transit on table(NYP) The Senate yesterday passed a $109 billion transportation bill that would prevent the slashing of $1 billion in New York City metro-transit money, and even result in a 13 percent increase. The House will take up the Senate bill, which could be significantly altered with amendments and will likely result in compromise legislation.

NYPD anti-terror exposes split between NYC, others(WSJ) Ten years after 9/11, the New York Police Department's surveillance of Muslims has exposed a bitter divide between New Yorkers and their neighbors across the Hudson River, with city leaders defending the police force and out-of-town politicians angry to learn of New York detectives working their turf. * Hearing on WTC security plan(Fox 5)* Community Complains About New Checkpoints In WTC Site Security Plan(Huff Post) * Ray Kelly reiterating his oft told point terrorists have "attempted to kill" New Yorkers 14 times since 9/11 *  Ray Kelly: The notion the police department should close its eyes to what happens outside the 5 boroughs is "folly"

Occupy Wall Street Cost NYPD $17 Million in Overtime (DNAINFO)


NYC, often not thought of as prone to flooding, has 141,000 people at risk by 2100

 New Figures: NYC at Risk to Sea Level Rise(NBC) 

 Election 2012

Fortunes Turn, as Does Style, for Santorum(NYT) * Romney Banking on Swing States(WSJ) * Decision 2012: Confident Romney Courts City GOP Fundraisers(NY1) * Republicans are weighing whether Newt Gingrich should exit the presidential race. (Politico) * Mitt Romney shook the Manhattan money tree. (NY1) *Romney fundraises in New York City(WABC)* Among the guests at last night’s State Dinner included some of the Obama campaign’s top bundlers. * Pollsters describe how Newt Gingrich is killing Rick Santorum. *How Gingrich's Candidacy Could Help Santorum - Scott Conroy, RCP * Romney Team Pulls Out All the Stops in Illinois - Kimberley Strassel, WSJ * Tuesday's Primaries Changed Nothing - Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics * Obama's Money and the Enthusiasm Gap - Karl Rove, Wall Street Journal * President's Bouncing Polls: What Gives? - Jonathan Capehart, Wash Post * FOX News: Romney 38, Santorum 32, Gingrich 13, Paul 12 | vs. Obama * Biden Makes a Working-Class Appeal in Toledo* Romney mended fences with Fox and Friends.* California could be especially decisive this time around. * Romney's Odds in Obamaland (The Atlantic)

Jon Stewart Trashes MSNBC & Fox News’ Election Coverage… But Saves Best Attacks For CNN


Colbert: GOP Contest Like 2008 Without Black People Or Women(TPM)


Goldman fights back after employee's scathing public exit(NYP) * Public Rebuke of Culture at Goldman Opens Debate(NYT) * Why NY Times Ran Goldman Sachs Exec's Resignation Letter(Huff Post) * Goldman Letter Will Have Long-Term Reverberations - NY Daily News

James Murdoch Blames Daily News Editor for Not Telling Him About Hacking(NY Magazine)

Tooth & hair DNA hunt at accused madam’s ‘love lair’(NYP)* Bail hearing Thurs. for accused Manhattan madam(WSJ) * NYPD Sergeant Cleared In Upper East Side Madam Case(WCBS) * Manhattan madam says she's ready to 'meet' with prosecutors(NYP) * New Lawyers for Woman Charged as High-End Madam(NYT)

* Prostitution should be legal in New York(NYDN)

Qns. mom, missing baby girl found(NYP) * Baby Taken From Queens Hospital Found; Mother Brought Into Custody(NY1) * Police Locate Mom Who Allegedly Ran With Baby(NBC)

Jury in Rutgers Spying Case Asks Judge for Clarification(NYT) Jurors asked a judge in Middlesex County, N.J., to restate the definition of “intimidate.”* Jury Deliberations Begin in Rutgers Spying Trial(WSJ)

 Law and Order

Subway ‘fiend’ faces 15 to life(NYP) * Brooklyn DOE Employee Arrested For Allegedly Touching Student(NY1)Police Seek Suspect in Series of Food-Cart Robberies(NYT) * Bust school worker in grope (NYDN) * Cops nab partner in Queens store shoot (NYDN)* A day of deals in Albany(NYDN)* Ex-con gets 12 years to life for siccing dog on cop(NYDN) * Ponzi lawyer is all in the scamily: DA(NYP)* Pal of slain burglar busted(NYP) *Dirty cops to pay 430G(NYP) * School employee arrested for inappropriate touching(WABC)*Ray Kelly said 819 guns recovered from stop-and-frisks last year; defends policy of "pro-active engagement"*Eight school employees who were previously found guilty of misconduct by city investigators were not sufficiently disciplined, and should be fired, said NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. *RayKelly: 'What do leaders of the communities of color say ... 2 get guns off the street?