He was 14 at the time of the September 11th attacks, probably unaware that merely 5 years later he would be responsible for finding one of the most controversial developments in the nation.
According to reports published in the New York Daily News today, Francisco Patino was working for developer Sharif El-Gamal to help research and find an appropriate location for the Park51 development.
“I told him to go out and find available buildings for the project, and he did. He’s a phenomenal kid,” Gamal is quoted in the same article,Â “We were looking at buildings all over the area. I liked a lot of them but this was the one we ended up on. It was just meant to be.”
Patino, 23, currently works at Chase Manhattan Bank and has gained notoriety as a contestant on “American Inventor” a popular TV show that aired in 2006.
The article also mentions, “Patino was barely a man in 2006 and had only come to this country when he was 12. No young newcomer could be expected to understand the sensitivities beneath the contradictions.”