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October 7, 2013- By Steven E. Greer
Previous letters to the editor from BPCA insiders have accused the Battery Park City Authority’s Chairman/CEO, Dennis Mehiel, of firing employees without cause, only to then hire replacements at higher wages, awarding those jobs in crony fashion. Some have claimed that Mr. Mehiel, and the former BPCA President Demetri Boutris, turned the BPCA into their own “Greek fiefdom” (both men are of Greek ancestry).
BatteryPark.TV submitted a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request for a list all of the newly hired and fired employees since the Mehiel administration began. Previous FOIL requests to the BPCA have been handled promptly. However, this latest FOIL is being ignored.
The details of the newly hired employees are sensitive information given that the BPCA has essentially decided to investigate itself. As previously reported, the BPCA hired a private employment law firm to investigate complaints from disgruntled BPCA employees. Since Chairman Mehiel made the unusual step of retaining the CEO title as well as Chairman, he personally signed off on any hiring and firings that were part of the investigation. Therefore, the BPCA has currently investigated itself, rather than refer the matter to state or federal agencies.
If the details of the hiring policies under the current BPCA administration are ever disclosed, BatteryPark.TV will report them. Stay tuned.