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August 7, 2014- By Steven E. Greer
Without any public comment, the Battery Park City Authority board approved double-digit hikes in salaries for senior executives who were hired only one year ago. Recall, Chairman and CEO Dennis Mehiel cleaned house when he came into office in 2012, firing at least 19 employees, then replacing them with higher paid cronies. As if that were not egregious and sleazy enough, he just gave them huge raises!
Shari Hyman, the new president, was only hired this year, so we do not have any data on “raises”. However, her $225,000 salary places her higher than most medical doctors, Harvard lawyers, and junior Goldman Sachs bankers. What are her skills that command such high pay? Well, she is married to the head of the state ethics department, JCOPE, which is a vital talent, indeed, when working for the scandal-ridden BPCA. Prior to that, she was a low-level city attorney. Oh, by the way, she just hired herself an assistant to pick up the slack.
Robert Nesmith is the “Chief Contracting Officer” who oversees all of those lucrative RFP contacts that doll out tens of millions to political crony construction companies. Apropos, he awarded himself a 26% raise, and he was only hired 16-months ago. If he thinks that this is appropriate and legal, then how much confidence can the public have in his oversight of the contracts awarded by the BPCA?
The rest of the list is found in the table.
Of interest, many of the employees hired by Mr. Mehiel just last year have already been fired or let go. Kirk Swanson, Nancy Harvey, Lapshan Fong, Andrea Rodriguez, Karen Quash, Elizabeth Papanicolaou, and Elizabeth Seibold all were listed in 2013, and not on the list just obtained by BatteryPark.TV.
Were the raises recently awarded meant to bolster morale, or quiet dissenters and prevent future Kirk Swanson whistleblowers?
This money being mismanaged by the BPCA is your money. It comes from your PILOT, ground lease, and facility fees. If people do nothing and allow this to happen, then the crooks deserve to get away with it.
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