Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Big transit contracts for MTA chair candidate

Newsday Chuck Bennett

"The engineering firm of Elliot "Lee" Sander, a candidate for MTA chairman, has had $400 million in contracts with the agency since 2001, according to documents released Tuesday.Sander, who is a top transportation adviser to governor-elect Eliot Spitzer's transition team and a possible successor to current MTA chairman Peter Kalikow, is a senior vice president at DMJM Harris, the nation's largest transportation design and engineering firm."

"MTA spokesman Tim O'Brien said there is a set policy for MTA board members to recuse themselves if they have a financial interest in a contract."Any board member who has a financial interest in an item that comes before the board has to recuse himself from voting on that item and that's something Chairman Kalikow has done on many occasions as well as other board members," O'Brien said."

"Both Sander and Christine Anderson, a spokeswoman for Spitzer, a Democrat, have declined to comment on who will succeed Kalikow. Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, appointed Kalikow in 2001. His current term expires in 2012, but Kalikow, a Republican, could step down earlier if he's satisfied with the progress of projects like the Second Avenue subway."

Eliot has publicly voiced his displeasure with Kalikow's performance......and Kalikow has stated he is going to resign.....we shall see........andy

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