Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Teflon Ratner always finds himself in the middle

From the NY Times:

The Brooklyn and Yonkers cases are not simply about wayward politicians. The cases share an intriguing tie to the developer Bruce Ratner, who in project after project deploys lobbyists and politicians to change zoning ordinances and chase down rich packets of subsidies.

I should emphasize that Mr. Ratner has walked between the legal raindrops. Federal prosecutors have not implicated him or his company, Forest City Ratner, in either of these corruption cases.

But he figures prominently enough that the indictments identify him as “Developer No. 1” in Brooklyn and “Developer No. 2” in Yonkers. In Brooklyn, he has pushed the 22-acre Atlantic Yards development, including an arena and residential towers. Forest City Ratner was the development partner for the headquarters of The New York Times Company.

Mr. Ratner has a political maestro’s touch. His vice president, Bruce Bender, is a stalwart of the Democratic Party’s powerful Thomas Jefferson Club in south Brooklyn. Its members — Mr. Kruger, Councilman Lewis A. Fidler and State Senator John L. Sampson — quickly championed this project.

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