Sunday, November 25, 2007

Columbia University's "Dinkinsgate Scandal" Connection--Part 5

After New York City voters decided in the 1993 mayoralty election that David Dinkins did not deserve a second term as New York City’s mayor, the Columbia University administration hired the local Democratic Party politician to be a professor “in the practice of public affairs” at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. And during the last few years Columbia University Professor Dinkins ( ) has apparently attempted to use his remaining special political influence in New York City politics to help his private employer undemocratically implement its land-grabbing campus expansion plan north of West 125th Street in West Harlem, despite the objections of local community tenant activists. Not surprisingly, when Columbia University Professor Dinkins tried to sell Columbia University’s expansion plan to the 700 community residents who attended the local community board’s hearings in August 2007, the former New York City mayor was booed, hissed and shouted down by West Harlem residents and their Columbia and Barnard student supporters.

Following, is another section of an article on “The Dinkinsgate Scandal” which first appeared in the August/September 1991 issue of the Lower East Side newspaper, Shadow:

By 1970, the 43-year-old Dinkins had utilized his Democratic Party Harlem Clubhouse position to secure a part-time patronage position as “Counsel to the New York City Board of Elections” which enabled him to continue working as a partner in his Dyett, Alexander and Dinkins law firm, at the same time he was on the public payroll. In 1972, the Democratic Party political bosses told their New York City Council member-puppets to appoint Dinkins to the higher-salaried, full-time New York City Board of Elections member patronage post and the 45-year-old Clubhouse politician Dinkins held his New York City Board of Elections Presidency post until June 1973.

In 1973, the Democratic Party clubhouse politicians successfully pushed Abraham Beame as their candidate for Mayor of New York City. According to The Permanent Government: Who Really Rules New York? by Jack Newfield and Paul DuBrul, “When it came time for Mayor Beame to staff the government of New York City, he relied most heavily on the civil service and the political back rooms…Beame appointed unqualified hacks for his own staff and as commissioners.”

As a reward for securing votes for Beame in the 1973 Mayoralty campaign, Dinkins was named by Mayor-Elect Beame to be Deputy Mayor for Planning on November 28, 1973.

Within a month after being named Deputy Mayor by Mayor-Elect Beame, however, Dinkins was forced by Beame to refuse the job because of the emerging “1969-1972 Dinkins Income Tax Scandal.” During December 1973, it was revealed that Dinkins had apparently failed to pay any federal, state and city personal income taxes in 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972, and had apparently failed to even file any federal, state, or city personal income tax forms during these same years. As a result, when Dinkins was appointed Deputy Mayor on November 28, 1973, he still owed about $25,000 in taxes and penalties to federal, state and city tax agencies from the income he took in from his law-firm job and his New York City Board of Elections political patronage job between 1969 and 1972. (Ironically, in 1978, Dinkins’ wife, Joyce Burrows, was named to be the Coordinator of Metropolitan Affairs for the New York State Division of Taxation and Finance).

When asked at a December 28, 1973 news conference why he failed to file income tax returns between 1969 and 1972, Dinkins replied: “I was busy taking care of other people’s business.”

Next: Columbia University’s “Dinkinsgate Scandal” Connection—Part 6

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