Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Avella & civic leaders rally against BSA application
(Bellerose, QUEENS) On Saturday, September 7, Senator Tony Avella, Bellerose civic leaders and residents rallied against the Indian Cultural and Community Center (ICCC) for moving ahead with their Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) application despite the recent release of a report by the New York State Office of the Inspector General that criticized the ICCC’s involvement in a state land sale.
Two years ago, Avella reached out to the Inspector General and the Attorney General and asked for an extensive review of the New York State Dormitory Authority’s sale of 4.5 acres of land on the Creedmore psychiatric-hospital campus in a no-bid deal to the politically connected nonprofit group for a fraction of its value.
This past week the Inspector General released their report which showed clear and convincing evidence that the ICCC not only “exploited loopholes in the statute and lapses in oversight by the Dormitory Authority” but purposely sought to deceive that agency as well as members of the community and elected officials regarding their intention to build residential housing on property which is the subject of the applications currently before the BSA. The findings in the report have been referred to the Attorney General’s office.
Despite this information, the ICCC is moving ahead with their BSA application, which is scheduled to be heard at a public hearing on September 10th.
Avella stated, “From the very beginning, I have had my suspicions regarding the ICCC’s involvement in this shady land deal. The Inspector General’s report confirms my suspicions, that at the very least the ICCC intentionally engaged in deceptive practices with the intent to mislead the public about its intentions with this property and at the very worst engaged in possible illegal activity. Obviously, this is completely unacceptable and the public deserves better. That is why I am pleased that this matter has been referred to the Attorney General for further review. We must get to the bottom of any misconduct committed by anyone involved with this land deal.”
“I am calling on the Attorney General to fully investigate the potential illegal conduct of the ICCC and for BSA to postpone any hearing until such a review is conducted,” concluded Avella.