Friday, July 26, 2013

Hudson Yards: Corey Johnson Resigned in March from the Board

Captured today:

On his campaign site today, out candidate Corey Johnson, who wants to win NYC City Council's district 3 seat, states he's currently a director of the Hudson Yards Development Corporation. Well, he isn't and hasn't been associated with the enormous and costly real estate project for the past five months.

My curiosity piqued seeing HYDC listed on Johnson's 2011 and 2012 financial disclosures with the Conflicts of Interest Board, I posed a few questions to the corporation and this afternoon received a response:

Mr. Petrelis:

I have set forth below, in red, HYDC’s responses to your questions concerning Corey Johnson.
The Chairperson of Community Board 4 is an ex officio Member and Director of the Hudson Yards Development Corporation (HYDC), so Mr. Johnson became a Member and Director of HYDC when he was appointed Chair of CB4 in 2011.   

Because he is running for election, Mr. Johnson resigned from his positions as Member and Director of HYDC in March 2013, and CB4 appointed another CB4 official to serve on the HYDC Board.
1) Is he compensated in any way for serving as a director?  No HYDC Director has ever been compensated in any way for serving as a director.

2) If yes, please explain how he's compensated and how much money he receives in this role.

3) What exactly are his duties as a director?
   During Mr. Johnson’s tenure, HYDC Directors met two or three times per year primarily to review and approve HYDC’s operating budget and annual financial statements.

4) Can you estimate the amount of time he puts in on a monthly basis for HYDC?
  Annually, less than 5 hours.

5) Are any directors or persons affiliated with HYDC formally endorsing his candidacy and if so, who are they?
  We don’t have any information about endorsements.      

Please feel free to send along any additional information regarding Johnson's service with the HYDC over the years. Thanks.
  All HYDC Board minutes are posted on HYDC’s website.  See
David Farber
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Hudson Yards Development Corporation

Interesting that Johnson resigned from the corporation months ago and hasn't been transparent about it on his site, nor has he announced who from Community Board 4, which he is the chairman of, has replaced him at the HYDC. Has he resigned from any other posts because of his City Council quest?

Regarding his puny time commitment, I don't imagine he had much influence over anything of substance and reading between the lines of what the senior VP and general counsel says, it sounds like the board is a rubber-stamp for HYDC. Makes me think he'll be rubber-stamping HYDC matters coming before the City Council, if he's elected and if he is not required to recuse himself from voting on anything to do with HYDC.

While we wait for Johnson to address those concerns, at minimum he should update his campaign site to reflect the fact that he hasn't been a director at HYDC for a number of months.

(Thanks, Louis Flores of the Queers Against Christine Quinn network for capturing Johnson's biographical web page for me.)

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