David Paterson Calls Out Snow Plows for Aqueduct Probe


Yesterday’s thickest blizzard fell not from the sky. It was the snow job attempt by Governor David Paterson who had his otherwise estimable counsel, Peter Kiernan, issue a statement insisting that subpoenas served on the state Lottery Division were unrelated to the gov’s deeply bizarre selection of a developer for the planned Aqueduct raceway casino.

Paterson’s press office issued the statement in the early afternoon, stating that the Lottery Division had received its subpoena on Tuesday, and that state officials were “advised” that the inquiry “is in regard to the New Direction Local Development Corporation, and not the selection of Aqueduct Entertainment Group to run VLT’s at Aqueduct Race Track.” Kiernan added, somewhat gratuitously that “to the best of our knowledge, no such investigation into this selection exists.”

This account began unraveling fairly quickly:

–The Albany Times-Union reports that the feds have asked for “all documents regarding proposals to operate a video lottery casino at Aqueduct, including comments or opinions by the Lottery Division.”

Ditto the Post’s Fred Dicker and company.

— Then there’s the Times tag team of William Rashbaum and Danny Hakim, whose last joint Albany tour resulted in Eliot Spitzer’s resignation. They also cite an official “briefed on the matter” that the lottery subpoena seeks info on the AEG/Aqueduct deal. They also mess up the hair of state senator Malcolm Smith and Rep. Greg Meeks who launched the New Directions LDC which reportedly managed to distribute all of $1,392 to victims of Hurricane Katrina after collecting tens of thousands of dollars for the cause. The Times reports that the LDC’s former director was an ex-Smith senatorial aide who was booted as a Queens prosecutor and had his law license suspended.

–There was also a report by WPIX’s Marvin Scott (!) that it is Brooklyn federal prosecutors who are probing the AEG deal at Aqueduct.

An AEG partner, Queens-based builder Jeffrey Levine, told the Times that he is “unaware of any investigation.”

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 11, 2010

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