Serving Two Masters
March 26th, 2008

During his years as deputy mayor for economic development, Daniel Doctoroff spearheaded the move to bring the Olympics to New York in 2012, championed the West Side football stadium , engineered an approval process for Atlantic Yards even he admits was flawed and presided over such stalled initiatives as Moynihan Station and the development of Governor Island. But now (see below), the Conflicts of Interest Board has decided city government can’t live without him even though he’s left the (public) Bloomberg administration to run the (private) Bloomberg L.P.

But possible conflicts exist.

For example, as the Associated Press reported, Doctoroff will remain an unpaid consultant for Moynihan Station — even though Vornado Realty Trust is both the landlord for Bloomberg L.P. and one of the developers on the station. To try to get around this, the panel said Doctoroff must not participate in Bloomberg LP’s current lease negotiations. And when (if?) the Moynihan matter is settled, Doctoroff then must recuse himself from any dealings with Vornado for a year.

The board did not address Doctoroff’s possible continued involvement in the Hudson Yards Project. Vornado had been vying to become the developer of the 26-acre site, although now that Tishman Speyer has just been awarded the project, that could make this particular link between Doctoroff and Vornado moot.

The whole set up angers the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, which charges that rather than representing the interests of the city, Doctoroff has worked to benefit his friends in the real estate industry: “The mayor is allowed to pontificate with impunity on the way in which he transcends the so-called special interests,” the blog writes. “But as we’ve said many times before, Bloomberg’s not above the special interests, he’s their embodiment.”

“Five appointees of the mayor have approved the Mmayors request. Now I understand why they call it a Conflicts of Interest Board,” said a comment to the City Room blog

But Doctoroff says there is no need for concern. Certainly, if I felt it was going to create conflict that I thought was going to be harmful to the company, I wouldnt do it, and Id be the same way with the city, he told the Times last month. If there was a conflict, I just wouldnt do it.

(For an assessment of Doctorff’s legacy by Tom Angotti, click here.)

By on March 26, 2008, 11:19 am
In category: Community Development,Gotham City,Land Use | Comments Off on Serving Two Masters

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