Tag Archives: bpca

James Cavanaugh Resigns from the Battery Park City Authority

Former BPCA President Hired By State Lobbying Firm

James Cavanaugh Resigns from the Battery Park City Authority
James Cavanaugh Stands Accused of Squandering BPCA Funds

Despite being accused last month of squandering $300,000 in Battery Park City Authority funds on superfluous things like extravagant parties and lunches, former BPCA president Jim Cavanaugh is now gainfully employed at Empire Strategic Planning, a state lobbying firm.

Cavanaugh’s term as president of the BPCA spanned five years, but he stepped down from the post a month before he was accused of mismanaging finances and playing favorites; he is still eligible for retirement benefits. Cavanaugh labeled the Inspector General’s report about his activities as “nonsense” when it was released.

DNAInfo reports that Empire Strategic Planning was launched by former Republican Senator Nicholas Spano in 2007. Spano and Cavanaugh’s relationship dates back to when Cavanaugh served as Spano’s communications director early in his Senatorial career.

“With new leadership in Albany on both sides of the political aisle, this is a good time for the firm to expand our expertise and our staffing,” Spano said in a statement. “This is a particularly critical time for those seeking to navigate state and local governments, and we intend to be in a strong position to provide assistance to those who need it.”

Spano said that he is aware of the Inspector General’s report regarding Cavanaugh’s issues, but told The Daily News that he was not having reservations about hiring Cavanaugh.

What do you think of the accusations levied at Cavanaugh?

Battery Park City Spent Big on “Frivolous and Superfluous Items”

If the Battery Park City Authority is closed down, Mayor Bloomberg could take over.

Chairwoman of Community Board 1, Julie Menin, has called for the Battery Park City Authority to be “sunsetted,” according to DNAInfo.  Control of the neighborhood could be handed to Mayor Bloomberg. A state-led shut down of the organization was also suggested.

New York State Inspector General Joseph Fisch issued a press release last friday, saying the Battery Park City Authority “spent more than $300,000 on parties, lunches and gifts from 2005 to 2008, including $30,000 on employee meals, $13,000 for annual catered summer picnics and $14,000 for annual holiday parties for a 60-person staff and guests.” The release, available for download here, also notes questionable charitable donations. Between 2004 and 2008, over $4 billion was given to the Yonkers Puerto Rican Day Parade and the Queens Botanical Gardens, which “had little or no connection to BPCA’s mission.”

With such lavish spending practices in the past, and the planned rise of ground rent, should the Battery Park City Authority be closed down and the neighborhood handed over to Mayor Bloomberg?