“You could tell right away it was basically a slush fund,” former community board member Lukas Herbert told the Times.
Herbert, who was forced off the board after voting against the stadium in 2006, appeared to refer to the community benefits agreement, or CBA, that failed to follow the standard operation of collecting signatures of community leaders who preside over neighborhoods adjacent to the stadium. Presumably, including those people in the planning CBA that authorized the fund would better ensure the community’s interests were met. According to the Times, however, Yankee Stadium’s CBA “was signed only by elected officials and the team.”
“No person who cared about good governance would come up with a system like that,” Herbert added.
The report continues, giving more examples of red flags that led to the Times investigation, including the fund’s opacity. The Times said it took four months to put together its report, noting it gave the Yankees “numerous” chances to respond via email and telephone. Finally, a public relations consultant did, the paper wrote, but only to say team officials would not comment on the fund.
The report, which is worth clicking over to the Times and reading in full, began making its way around the Web shortly after the Times published it, with some expressing their outrage over the findings.
Others, however, said they were not surprised.