Hand In The Cookie Jar
A review of the 316 page Inspector General’s report on the Video Lottery Terminals at Aqueduct shows some players overlooked before.
Playing minor roles in the scandal were Senators Pedro Espada who attempted to block the investigation, Serphin Maltese and his successor Joseph Addabbo and Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer who were said to be looking out for their constituents and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, chairman of the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee.
More disturbing are the campaign contributions from the AEG consortium to those making decisions on the bidding process. While they gave to Gov. Paterson’s reelection campaign, more than $40,000 was contributed to the Democratic Senate campaign committee.
The money was passed to Senators Eric Adams, Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Shirley Huntley, Andrea Stewart- Cousins and Antoine Thompson. Only Senator Adams had an active role in the selection process.
The largest contribution of almost $100,000 was donated to the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Network. They said Sharpton was “important to the community aspect of our bid.” The whole question of campaign contributions raises disturbing questions about our legislative process.