Wire-taps, bribes, scathing snippets of conversation published in the newspaper; ring a bell? The scenario must be annoyingly familiar to Cleveland’s best-loved real estate developer, Forest City Enterprises. Although the company avoided the Cuyahoga County corruption fallout, it’s not faring so well in New York where it is being showcased as “Real Estate Developer No. 1” in a federal public corruption case there.
The criminal case was unsealed last week and is a little complicated. We will try to boil it down for you. There is a skating rink, a retail development, and a bridge in Brooklyn. To clarify—not the Brooklyn Bridge, but another one. All are part of a new complex that the company's Forest City Ratner division is developing to be the new home to the Nets.
There is a State Senator, Carl Kruger (yes, a Democrat), and Forest City Ratner VP Bruce Bender, who thinks the State Senator is "cute." Kruger is accused of taking $1 million in bribes including money from a guy named Richard Lipsky whose job was to lobby state government on behalf of Forest City Ratner.