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 (http://www.sipa.columbia.edu/academics/directory/dd98-fac.html ) 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:
After he had transferred his Inner City Broadcasting Corporation stock to his son, Columbia University Professor Dinkins—while serving as Manhattan Borough President—continued to maintain contact with his former Inner City Broadcasting Corporation partner Sutton. According to the January 10, 1991 Report of the Special Deputy Commissioner Concerning The Transfer of Inner City Broadcasting Corporation Stock By David N. Dinkins:
“In mid-1986, Mr. Sutton began lobbying Mr. Dinkins on behalf of Queens Inner Unity Cable System in which Inner City Broadcasting Corporation (through a wholly-owned subsidiary) had a 40% interest and Mr. Sutton had a 20% interest.
“In 1983, Queens Inner Unity Cable System had been awarded a contract for the development of cable television service in a portion of Queens. By mid-1986, its franchise was in serious jeopardy, and Mr. Sutton was not shy about trying to find help…The Board of Estimate had awarded the franchise to Queens Inner Unity Cable System, and could take it away. Mr. Dinkins, as Manhattan Borough President, had a vote in the Board of Estimate.”
On August 1, 1986, Sutton visited Dinkins in the Manhattan Borough President’s office, along with the now-deceased Irish-born former New York City Council President Paul O’Dwyer, who was the Queens Inner Unity Cable System’s lawyer. According to the Report of the Special Deputy Commissioner Concerning The Transfer of Inner City Broadcasting Corporation Stock By David N. Dinkins:
“…It was clear that Mr. Sutton was there seeking to promote the interests of Queens Inner Unity Cable System. Queens Inner Unity Cable System was under pressure from the Bureau of Franchises because it had failed to raise the financing required by its agreements with the City.”
The Report of the Special Deputy Commissioner also noted that after Dinkins’ August 1, 1986 Manhattan Borough President’s Office meeting with Sutton, “correspondence between the Bureau of Franchises and Queens Inner Unity Cable System continued to arrive at Mr. Dinkins’ office with personal Percy Sutton buck slips addressed to Hon. David N. Dinkins, see e.g. letter dated January 21, 1987.”
After Sutton had arranged for a partnership to be formed between a subsidiary of Warner Communications and Inner City Broadcasting Corporation’s Queens Inner Unity Cable System subsidiary, which needed to be approved by the Board of Estimate, Sutton sent “a hand-delivered letter dated September 21, 1987, addressed to Mr. Dinkins” which “outlined the new partnership” and “announced that the matter would be placed before the Board of Estimate on October 1, 1987 or October 26, 1987,” according to the Report of the Special Deputy Commissioner.
On November 3, 1987, Sutton again sent a hand-carried letter to Columbia University Professor Dinkins, and enclosed a copy of the final agreement between Warner and Queens Inner Unity Cable System which was to be considered at the November 19, 1987 Board of Estimate meeting. In this hand-carried letter to Dinkins, Sutton also offered to meet with Dinkins again and “answer all questions to your satisfaction, prior to the November 19th Board of Estimate meeting.”
The Report of the Special Deputy Commissioner Concerning The Transfer of Inner City Broadcasting Corporation Stock By David N. Dinkins also noted that on June 12, 1989 “a committee consisting of Percy Sutton and representatives of Time and Warner came calling on Mr. Dinkins” to discuss the scheduled June 15, 1989 Board of Estimate vote required for Time-Warner to merge previously competing cable-TV companies into a potentially more lucrative city-wide cable-TV monopoly. According to the Report of the Special Deputy Commissioner, “after a short private meeting between Mr. Dinkins and Mr. Sutton, Mr. Dennis deLeon (the Deputy Manhattan Borough President under Dinkins) was asked to come back into the room for a ten minute meeting with Mr. Dinkins and Mr. Sutton” and “on June 15, 1989, Mr. deLeon,” on behalf of former Inner City Broadcasting Corporation Director Dinkins, “joined in the unanimous vote approving the changes in ownership of the New York City franchises caused by the merger of Time and Warner.”
Next: Columbia University’s “Dinkinsgate Scandal” Connection—Part 12
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