Ratner buys friends

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

It turns out that Bruce Ratner is paying a lot more for his friends than we thought.

Ratner signed a so-called “Community Benefits Agreement” with eight so-called “community” groups in 2005. The CBA promises, among other things, that Ratner will create affordable housing at his Atlantic Yards mega-project, and will make a “good-faith” effort to hire many minority workers.

In exchange, the eight signatories agreed to support the project.

And then the payoffs began.

As reporters from The Brooklyn Papers and other news outlets investigated the CBA, Ratner was forced to admit that CBA signatories had received grants to do such things as distributing Ratner’s promotional flyers and pay salaries — and, in the case of a $50,000 grant to the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, to, well, it’s not really clear what.

All told, the previously known grants came to $275,000.

But that was just the beginning, it turns out.

This week, Assembly candidate Freddie Hamilton, who is running to succeed her ally Roger Green, told The Papers that her group, the Downtown Brooklyn Education Consortium, will actually receive $350,000 — not the previously announced $87,000 — from Ratner.

The larger grant was first revealed by reporter Norman Oder on his Web site,

Hamilton defended the grants to DBEC (which is not surprising since, as a signatory of the CBA, she can’t say anything bad about Atlantic Yards), explaning that the money is being used “to strengthen our infrastructures and for support of ongoing operations of our programs [and] figure out how to plan some mechanism to give continuous support to those organizati­ons.”

Read that comment twice if you like, but it never actually becomes clear what the six groups that comprise the DBEC — three of which are not even registered with New York State — are doing with Ratner’s money besides giving the developer some imprimatur of “community” support.

The more we find out, the more Bruce Ratner appears willing to pay for that “support” — and the more it will cost taxpayers, to whom Ratner will likely pass the bill in the end.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!