Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lunch Is On Us at Brooklyn Bridge Park

A seared tuna platter here, a skirt steak there, and before you know it -- whoops! -- thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent on fancy lunches, courtesy of the as-yet-unbuilt Brooklyn Bridge Park's capital budget, according to an article in Friday's Brooklyn Eagle.

Invoices obtained by the Eagle through the Freedom of Information Act show that insiders like the former president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation and architects from the firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates ordered lunches like seared tuna and slow-roasted pork from expensive Manhattan eateries (Ennju, Union Square Cafe) several times a month while working on the park, courtesy of the park's budget.

But this is small change compared to other expenses that have since 2003 "whittled at least $30 million away from the park’s $153 million capital budget," says the Eagle.

In one invoice, a lawyer billed $79 for two private car services to chauffeur him between 599 Lexington Ave. and the ESDC’s office at 633 Third Avenue. (BTW, this is roughly a distance of .7 mile each way.)

In another example, $9,443 was spent in one day to serve the heads of containerport operator American Stevedoring eviction notices for Pier 5.

Good work if you can get it? Outright fraud? Story here.

More food for thought at Curbed.

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