Former Commissioner Fined for Atlantic Yards Connection (UPDATED)
November 27th, 2007
The former Brooklyn-appointed member of the City Planning Commission has been fined $4,000 for voting in favor of the Downtown Brooklyn Project in 2004, which she was slated to gain financially from.
According to a deposition released by the Conflicts of Interest Board today, Dolly Williams, who has served as a commissioner since 2003 and announced she would leave the board last month, voted in favor of the project while she was simultaneously becoming an investor in the New Jersey Nets – who will move to Brooklyn as part of the major downtown development, Atlantic Yards.
In late April of 2004, Williams put $250,000 in escrow to guarantee her investment in the Nets. A little over two weeks later she voted in favor of the project that expanded the commercial use of a site within the Atlantic Yards plan.
Her deposition (available here) states she did not intend to directly benefit from her vote, but she recognizes she violated the city’s conflict of interest law.
Reportedly, this is not the only time Williams’s conflict of interest has been called into question.
(UPDATE) Because she had this financial stake in Atlantic Yards (and had to recuse herself from later votes) many Brooklyn residents were pressing for her to step down. In October, Borough Marty Markowitz announced that they had reached a decision for Williams to leave the board.
At the time, Markowitz said, “Dolly and I discussed what would be best for her and for Brooklyn going forward, and we have come to the joint decision that in this time of great growth and change in Brooklyn, when there are many voices seeking to be heard on land use matters, it would be best for a new appointee to assume the Planning Commission position.”
Today, Markowitz announced his new appointment: Shirley Ann McRae of Fort Greene, who has been chair of Community Board 2 and a member of the executive board of directors of the Atlantic Center Homeownersí Association.By Courtney Gross on November 27, 2007, 4:48 pm
In category: Gotham City, Housing, Land Use, Law | 1 Comment »