Sunday, December 2, 2007

Columbia University's "Dinkinsgate Scandal" Connection--Part 12

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:

On December 18, 1985, Dinkins had attended his last Inner City Broadcasting Corporation board of directors meeting prior to moving into his Manhattan Borough President office. At this December 18, 1985 meeting, an extensive presentation was made to the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation board regarding the construction of an office building in Harlem between the Bishop Office Building and the Apollo Theatre. The Harlem Commonwealth Council, Inc. [HCC] was seeking a zoning change from the Board of Estimate, upon which Dinkins was to sit, in order to construct the Harlem office building as a joint venture with the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, in which the Dinkins family owned stock. Dinkins’ Inner City Broadcasting Corporation was to be both an investor in the Harlem development project and a prime tenant in the office building for which the Board of Estimate’s zoning change approval was to be sought.

On the day before the Board of Estimate was to vote on the proposed zoning change, then-Deputy Manhattan Borough President Sally Hernandez-Pinero met with Columbia University Professor Dinkins. The next day, June 30, 1987, Hernandez-Pinero—on behalf of former Inner City Broadcasting Corporation Director Dinkins—cast an “aye” vote in the Board of Estimate in support of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation-Harlem Commonwealth Council, Inc.’s Bishop Annex construction project zoning change proposal.

Next: Columbia University’s “Dinkinsgate Scandal” Connection—Part 13