Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"Yankees in Albany courtroom to fight stadium subpoena" Times Union 5/5/9

Yankees in Albany courtroom to fight stadium subpoena
Assemblyman wants detailed documents about project's cost, ticket prices

By ROBERT GAVIN, Staff writer
Last updated: 1:43 p.m., Tuesday, May 5, 2009

ALBANY -- An Albany judge may decide whether the New York Yankees must release thousands of documents about their new $1.5 billion, taxpayer-subsidized stadium.

Today, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky of Westchester wants to use a subpoena to review documents detailing the construction of the Yankees new home, arguing the team has refused to provide documents he has requested.

But George Carpinello, a lawyer for the Yankees, dismissed Brodsky's request, calling the project the "most transparent project probably in the history of the state of New York or anywhere else." Brodsky told state Supreme Court Justice John Egan that he began reviewing documents about the stadium and the Mets new Citifield a year ago, but said he discovered the Yankees' cost was "markedly different and over twice as much."

Joined by fellow Assemblyman Democrat James Brennan of Brooklyn, Brodsky said he sent letters to the Yankees and made requests into what he said is a project involving $4 billion in public money. He also mentioned the failure of accessible ticket prices and what he called an admitted violation of law in the tax assessment for the stadium grounds, which used to be a city park.

He questioned why Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office received a luxury suite at the stadium and how the city ended up helping the team obtain $1.5 billion in tax-free borrowing.

He said there was a "misstatement of facts by the Yankees" about the amount of jobs the stadium would create and the public benefit of the project.

Carpinello told Egan that Brodsky's subpoena was illegal, noting a law inspired by the McCarthy era that bars chairs of legislative committees from issuing subpoenas for no legislative purpose. He called Brodsky's request a sham.

As for the ticket prices, he said, "God knows he can read the newspaper to find out the price of tickets at a Yankees game."

Egan asked if both sides would be willing to work out a settlement in the jury room. If not, Egan said he would decide the matter.


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