Friday, November 20, 2009

`COLUMBIAGATE': Is Columbia University's West Harlem-Manhattanville Campus Expansion Project Illegal?--Part 10

In a January 21, 2009 petition to the First Judicial Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division, a New York City civil liberties lawyer named Norman Siegel presented the legal case against New York State’s Empire State Development Corporation [ESDC] allowing the Columbia University Administration to move forward on its 17-acre campus expansion project in the West Harlem-Manhattanville neighborhood, just north of West 125th Street. (See below for parts 1 to 9)

According Siegel’s January 21, 2009 petition:

“Though Columbia held a series of three meetings with community leaders in 2004 and 2005 that it called `community consultation,’ Columbia treated them merely as informational meetings to present the alleged benefits of the project. Participants alleged Columbia was unresponsive to concerns expressed in those meetings…

“Empire State Development Corporation [ESDC]’s finding that the area was blighted was made in bad faith and violated its statutory authority, the New York State Constitution and the United States Constitution (UDCA Sec. 10 c; Article 1, section 7 of the New York State Constitution; 5th and 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution)…”

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