Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another Obama Scandal Brewing

Alolpho Carrion, the former Bronx borough president, who was chosen by President Obama to be Obama's urban policy czar, is under increasing fire for having an architect do work for him personally after approving that same architect's big project. The kicker is that Carrion hasn't paid the architect for the work. Gothamist notes that after initially not telling the NY Daily News how much he paid for the project or responding to the paper's request for cancelled checks, the Daily News now reports that Carrion says he hadn't paid the architect, Hugo Subotovsky, to design a porch and balcony for his City Island home for his work, which totaled $3,627.50.
President Obama's new urban czar, Adolfo Carrión, admitted Tuesday he has not paid an architect who designed a renovation of his Bronx home two years ago.

That presents conflict-of-interest issues because at the time the architect was a key player in a Bronx development that needed approval from Carrión, then the Bronx borough president.

In a statement to the Daily News, Carrión admitted he hadn't paid architect Hugo Subotovsky to design a porch and balcony for his City Island home.

The renovation occurred more than two years ago. The last document filed with the city Buildings Department is dated Feb. 2, 2007. The work permit on the job expired that same month.

Most documents stamped by Subotovsky on Carrión's house renovation date even further back, to October and November 2006, including a blueprint for the extensive work done on the front of Carrión's house.
Typically, when an architect does work, they like to get paid. That Subotovsky hasn't demanded or received payment on the work from 2007 and before is highly suggestive that something isn't quite right here.

This is a significant conflict of interest issue for Carrion and once again brings into question Obama's vetting process for not picking up on this significant issue. Similar issues have brought down politicians in the past, including former Connecticut Governor John Rowland, a Republican.

It is curious that most of the media is oblivious to this latest in a string of nomination troubles for the Obama Administration. MSNBC simply notes that the Daily News is doggedly pursuing the story, and not without a sense of irony notes that this is indeed a string of nomination woes for the Administration. The NY Post doens't have anything, and the last story about Carrion in the Times was from before news of this latest mess.

Why is the media treating the Administration with kid gloves when it comes to its problems with filling its positions within the Administration?

Jules Crittenden links. Thanks!

Here's a few more details about the Bourica College/Village project. Boricua Village includes affordable housing, and is expected to be completed at the end of 2009.
Boricua Village is one of the largest real estate development projects to be built in the Bronx. Located on 4.5 acres of land bordered by Third Avenue on the east, Washington Avenue on the west, 161 Street on the south and 163 Street on the north, the state-of-the-art project includes a 120,000-square-foot, 14-story-high "vertical campus" for Boricua College. The building will be surrounded by a plaza and amphitheatre, 50,000 square feet of retail space, 60,000 square feet of underground parking and seven residential buildings with approximately 700 units of affordable and middle-income housing.
I don't see a cost associated with the project, but will keep looking.

Aldolfo Carrion, come on down. You’re the next contestant on the Obama nomination train wreck. Don Surber links with the Vice is Wrong. Thanks!

This is an even bigger scandal. The fact that the Obama Administration has yet to even name 18 deputies and top officials at the Treasury Department other than tax cheat Tim Geithner. What is he waiting for? Why the delay? Who stands to benefit from further delays in nominations and confirmations at Treasury? Why is Obama slow to name people to those positions? Why isn't the media demanding those answers?

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