Wednesday, November 3, 2010

EDC wining and dining out of control

From the Daily News:

An examination of Economic Development Corp. honchos' credit cards from July 2008 through March unearthed a stunning collection of unusual purchases on the taxpayer's dime. The bills generally have risen month by month during the past two fiscal years, growing from $5,870 in July 2008 to $18,226 in March. In December, they topped $20,000.

EDC executives have used their agency American Express cards:
* To buy four gold- and silver-plated shovels for grip-and-grin groundbreaking ceremonies. Total cost: $494.
* To fly participants in a "Next Idea" contest from India and Argentina and put them up for a week in the Manhattan Holiday Inn in January. The tab: $13,861. Winners and others that month got gold-engraved plaques valued at $370.
* For interoffice wining and dining.

Most city agencies follow rules that say payment for "modest meals and light refreshments" should be regarded as "an exceptional event." But officials at the EDC, a quasi-city agency that also collects rent on city properties, say they aren't subject to the same rules.

The city controller has chastised them for this position, asserting that the EDC is sloppy about how it spends its money.

Take, for example, the $112 the EDC spent on wine on May 22, 2008, at the Green Grape in lower Manhattan, listed as a "prewedding party" on the bill.

Asked by the Daily News to explain the expense, the agency released a statement saying it held a "congratulatory toast" for EDC Chief Operating Officer Tokumbo Shobowale at the agency's office.

EDC bosses "invited all 400 EDC employees to participate."

Records show EDC President Seth Pinsky charged $3,630 in March for a day-long event at the elegant Bayard restaurant near Wall Street attended solely by about 40 agency employees.

Then there was $3,000 for "companywide catering" - including coffee, dessert trays and miniature Italian pastries - from the gourmet Sale & Pepe in 2008 and last year.

Another $3,000 went for food and space rental for a companywide event at Water Taxi Beach at the South Street Seaport in October 2009, records show.

The agency also paid Fairway $600 to fete dignitaries like Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Rep. Nydia Velazquez with fruit and cheese.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Ah thats nothing. Marco Rubio spent thousands on groceries, lavish meals, first class flights, personal car repairs and strip clubs on the Florida tax payer dime.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain exactly what this "EDC" is, and why it exists? Is it a NYC Governmental Body? Does the Mayor control it? The City Council?

Anonymous said...

The EDC are land grabbing assholes. A quasi-city agency that forces unwanted development in neighborhoods - all in the name of economic growth.

D. Truth said...



Anonymous said...

The EDC (Empire Development Corporation) is the devil. this is all you need to know. go to 42nd street & 6th avenue, Northwest corner and weep. the corporation crushed a family at this location.

be careful, many windows fallen out, many accidents during & after construction in this building, a glass and steel skyscraper, a BANK. they were in such a hurry to get in there that they had offices in one part of the building while construction was still going on.
the property and land was seized using eminent domain by the EDC. decades long legal fight for the family to keep their property, a two story pizzeria. The family has an autistic son.
the politicians sold the family down the river, they allowed the EDC do eminent domain for a bank.
not for affordable housing, a hospital or a school. A bank.

georgetheatheist said...

Another opening. Another show.

Look at all the assholes lined up in the photo. Doing what? Throwing dirt in the air. More fun than the Radio City Rockettes.
You can even see Helen Marshall a bit down the line. The taxpayers shell out $85,000 per year for her personal photographer to snap her pic doing this.

Anonymous said...

even when you add up all this kind of waste, it's tiny in comparison to the amount we waste on federal defense contracts.

let's start there.

let's also not waste money sending people back across the texas and AZ border who will walk over it again 3 nights later.

georgetheatheist said...

And where are they doing this shoveling? In the middle of Queens Plaza. I can't wait to spend my leisure hours there on a park bench quietly enjoying the sunshine as the N train barrels by overhead and the traffic honks harmoniously getting onto the bridge. Stay vacations are here to stay. What a serene, bucolic landscape QP will be. Let's have a picnic there, OK?

Anonymous said...

Call in the Feds and disband this group. Another waste of taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

"let's also not waste money sending people back across the texas and AZ border who will walk over it again 3 nights later."

You're right! We should feed, clothe, educate and give them health care, BUT under no circumstances should we expect them to contribute to the tax base. That way, entities like EDC won't have any money or land to play with, because NO ONE will!

Anonymous said...

Just another reason why our taxes always go up. We have to make sure the politicians have enough of our money to waste, wine and dine. Politicians don't get it and never will. This EDC group should be disbanded.

Anonymous said...

Can i get a job there?

Sarah said...

This election was between those who pay and those who take. In NY many like those in the picture take. They are all smiling. The taking will continue. And those of us who give will see a lot more of this kind of in your face abuse. They just don't care anymore, they have absolute power.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the EDC the corporation Pataki started his last week in office so he could have a job after his term ended?

Anonymous said...

In Dutch Kills the local politicans remained silent while EDC and City Planning beat up the community.

For shame Onorato!
For shame Nolan!
For shame Van Bramer!

For shame! For shame! For shame!

Anonymous said...

what can you do when your neighbors vote them back in at 90-10 or 80-20?

Anonymous said...

Look, they can rig the system as much as they want - no one believes any damn thing they say anymore.