EDC Cash Clash: Is It Payback Time? (City Limits)

Now that New York City’s comptroller has charged that the city’s development arm illegally withheld $125 million in revenues from the city treasury, does he actually have a shot at getting it back?

Comptroller John Liu’s finding that the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) had shortchanged the city treasury by $125 million raises the question of whether the comptroller can force the EDC to return the monies.

Asked at a telephone press briefing on Wednesday if he’d use his power to refuse to sign off on city contracts to compel EDC to pass the money along (EDC, though effectively a branch of the mayor’s office, is technically a non-profit corporation that contracts with the city to do economic development), Liu replied: “I hope it doesn’t need to get any further beyond this point,” adding: “We will use every authority we have in this office, and I imagine the mayor will do the same thing, to get that $125 million.”

It seems unlikely, however, that the mayor will have Liu’s back, since two mayoral agencies have already signed off on the EDC’s practice… [read more]