Get facts straight on Albany’s Aqueduct debacle

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In the April 15-21 TimesLedger Newspapers editorial “Stink Grows Stronger in SE Queens,” you seem to have joined the likes of the Rag, the Rag-Mop and the White Bible — i.e., the Post, the Daily News and the New York Times. With the awards your paper recently won, I gave you more credit than that.

You and the other three hagglers have been convicting the leaders, whom we elected to represent our community, without a grand jury hearing, an indictment or a trial and I am sick of it. Please get off their backs and let the proper procedure prevail.

If the ever-competent attorney Joan Flowers resigned her $145,000-a-year job, maybe she had a better offer in the private sector. This happens all the time. Ask Mayor Michael Bloomberg about those who resigned from his administration.

If New Direction has raised $150,000 and contributed only $1,300 to Hurricane Katrina victims, let the courts follow the process and see where the findings lead them. The previous amount raised that was reported in the media was $30,000. You are saying $150,000.

If the investigation has reached Borough President Helen Marshall, why hasn’t the legal apparatus called her in and examined the connections you claim she has with the Greater Jamaica Development Corp. and architect Robert Gaskin? Let the system do its job. That is what it is there for.

Darryl Greene, an expert in community organizing and seeing that deserving people are employed on developing goings-on in our community, has long since paid his debt for a misdemeanor yet he was driven from the Aqueduct Entertainment Group.

He was driven out only because it was reported that state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) upped the ante on the number of years a convicted person can qualify from 10 to 15 years. If this is true, Silver is more powerful than the Assembly, the state Senate and the governor combined.

Please check your research to see if the three men in the room — the speaker, the Senate president and the governor — made the decision to award the casino contract to the AEG. If that is true, why is only the governor being blamed for awarding the contract?

And who controls the agency that grants the license to corporations to run casinos? I hear the most powerful man in Albany — Silver — does.

If U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica), state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) and Marshall are guilty of these innuendoes, they probably do not know how to do what other ethnicities have been doing long before this multibillion-dollar contract was ever considered.

Please get off the backs of our elected officials and let the courts and us take care of them.

Rev. Dr. Charles L. Norris Sr.

Pastor Emeritus

Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church


Updated 5:57 pm, October 10, 2011
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