It could be weeks if not months for Inspector General Joseph Fisch to complete his investigation into....well, whatever it is that he's going to investigate. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who now says he won't sign off on AEG until Fisch has issued his conclusion on the matter, didn't add that the state will aid NYRA in the meantime as it is required to do by the franchise agreement. Silver had his own ideas as to what the probe should encompass, but Fisch isn't saying. Maybe he'll want to take a look at Silver's role as one of the three men who decided that they, alone, would decide.
Governor (and candidate) Paterson seems to relish the opportunity to tell the IG all about his interactions with the other leaders during the selection process. Back on Feb 12 when the idea of a probe was first raised by the Speaker, Paterson said:
"If the inspector general would like to come in and examine this, I would welcome that because I have not shared any of the conversations that I had with any of the other leaders in the process.."Yeah, it should be extremely interesting to hear what the governor has to say. Silver told the News:
"But when the inspector general comes in and asks, I will share that information and you may find it very interesting. [Daily Politics]
"I think what's important is we know we're signing on to something that's appropriate, and if not, we're not going to."Something that's appropriate, what does that even mean? That Fisch is going to investigate whether AEG can run a racino? Or just whether or not the selection process stunk? If it's just the latter, why shouldn't the project just proceed (if they come up with money really soon. I mean, why, really, should they have not already come forward with the cash in hand)?
If it's determined that AEG is perfectly qualified, but that there was indeed political influence involved in its selection, does that mean that we throw them out and start the process all over again? Unless one believes that another bidder would provide so much more benefits to the community and state, why would anyone be rooting for that? It almost seems as if the losers have become sympathetic victims to some. Does it make you all warm and fuzzy to hear William Bissett, the president of Delaware North, whose failure to see its winning bid to fruition triggered, or I guess I should say, compounded this whole mess, tell Reuters: "Without question, we still remain very interested in the Aqueduct project and committed to its success for the community and the State."
Jay Z has been in the news regarding his role at AEG, but Penn National had its own hip-hop mogul in Russell Simmons. And writing on this website, Simmons stated the case for Penn National, and asked: "Speaker Silver, Senator Abrams [who?] and Governor Patterson [sic], can any of my dear friends in NY government tell me where and when did it all go wrong?"
Maybe Joseph Fisch will fill us all in. Soon, I hope.