Today’s news:

Cell mates: Thompson did big favor for Bloomy at House of D

The Brooklyn Paper

On his final day in office, then-Comptroller Bill Thompson bowed to the mayor’s wishes and quietly approved a contract that paves the way for the controversial expansion and reopening of the Brooklyn House of Detention in Boerum Hill.

Before then, Thompson had thrice refused to register the $32-million contract for the renovation of the prison at Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street, citing the increasing cost of the project.

Mayor Bloomberg returned fire by suing the comptroller’s office, alleging that Thompson shirked his civic duty by ignoring a mandate to give the $440-million plan the green light.

But now that Thompson has rubber-stamped the renovation contract, the mayor’s office has withdrawn its suit.

But don’t open up the double-locked cellblocks just yet. Before the city can make good on its plan to turn the long-shuttered House of Detention into a 769-bed prison, city officials say they will reach a settlement with community groups.

The Department of Correction has long said that a reopened House of D would offer much-needed relief to antiquated facilities on Rikers Island and cut down on the cost and security risk of transporting Brooklyn inmates to and from the rock.

Thompson could not be reached before The Brooklyn Paper’s lock-tight online deadline. And a spokesman for Comptroller John Liu said the new bean counter would not rekindle the Thompson-Bloomberg battle.

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Reader Feedback

Candice from Greenpoint says:
Good thinking, open and it expand it so that there is plenty of space to lock up mr. Markowitz in it and then throw away the key.

Crooks in government like him have not been seen since NY was run by boss Tweed.
Jan. 11, 2010, 3:02 am
Matt from Brooklyn Heights says:
This is just such a bad idea, it's unbelievable. And screw the community groups for settling. It just goes to show that everyone has their price.
Jan. 11, 2010, 8:48 am
nick from boerum hill says:
its not an expansion, its just using what is there, ie its a renovation. I live down on state street and everyone there is a NIMBY. they use it anyhow as a jail and it does not bother anyone now.
Jan. 11, 2010, 11:29 am
Bill from Boerum Hill from Boerum Hill says:
Thompson thrice refused to spend taxpayer bucks and got sued by Bloomy. His "rubberstamping" is part of the settling of a lawsuit by community groups who have scored several major wins for the Heights, Cobble and Boerum Hill communities. Matt, Candice and Nick will all be surprised and pleased when the details become publicly available. Community Board
2 has already expressed its disapproval of any ex-
pansion, which, as Matt points out is a really bad idea.
But rest assured, the community groups have been vigilant.
Jan. 11, 2010, 2:10 pm

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