From the Queens Chronicle:
A scathing report issued by the New York State Inspector General’s Office blasts actions taken by the Indian Cultural and Community Center — and inaction by the New York State Dormitory Authority — in connection with the sale of more than four acres of property on the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center site in Queens Village.
The ICCC was before the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals on Tuesday in continuing its effort to construct a pair of nine-story towers on the property.
The project has been roundly opposed by residents, local elected officials, civic associations and Community Board 13.
The 18-page IG report found that “the ICCC exploited loopholes in the statute and lapses in oversight by the Dormitory Authority ... which was tasked with overseeing the transaction.”
The ICCC first proposed purchasing about 4.5 acres for the creation of a cultural and community center, an athletic field and parking spaces, a sale that went through in 2008 with the backing of Assemblywoman Barbara Clark (D-Queens Village), former state Sen. Frank Padavan and then-Assemblyman and current Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens).
By the time the contract was signed, the ICCC was claiming it was allowed to build the two apartment towers, first proposing 126 units and now seeking 143.
The IG’s report states that Dormitory Authority officials negotiating the contract were ignorant of the Legislature’s intent on land use restrictions when making the deal; and that the ICCC representatives did nothing to fill the gap in the agency’s knowledge.
It also said the Legislature never placed the specific restrictions in the authorizing statute itself.