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Budget Woes For Atlantic Yards Job Development Group: Report

A key backer of mega-development allegedly behind on taxes and spending.

Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development, a workforce retraining organization focusing on placing local residents in jobs at Atlantic Yards, is the subject of a complaint filed by a former executive alleging problems with its budget, spending and taxes, according to Atlantic Yards Report.

Former BUILD chief financial officer Lance Woodward filed the complaint on Sept. 12 with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office.

According to a copy of the complaint obtained by AYR, Woodward is accusing BUILD CEO James Caldwell of spending thousands of dollars on things like Brooklyn Nets tickets ($8,500), rent for individuals and a car payment.

The complaint also charges that taxes owed by BUILD still had not been paid.

BUILD fired Woodward in August due to friction with chief operating officer Daisy James, according to AYR.

"The Attorney General's office has not reached out to me and I'm not going to make any comments until that time," Caldwell said when contacted Thursday afternoon.

BUILD has been one of the staunchest community-led supporters of the Atlantic Yards project.

In June, a representative of BUILD spoke in favor of Barclays Center's liquor application—which was later approved with some restrictions.

At last week's ribbon cutting at the arena, Forest City Ratner CEO Bruce Ratner thanked the organization by name as one of a small list of key community backers of the project.

However, the organization has been the subject of criticism by worker advocates charging that BUILD had not done enough to hire local residents during Barclays Center construction.

Last fall, jobseekers joined Councilwoman Letitia James, D-Brooklyn, at Atlantic Yards to say that they had been "duped" by BUILD's employment training program.

Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe De Plasco said that of the 799 workers on the site in November 2011, 410 of them were city residents and 174 from Brooklyn.

Norman Oder September 28, 2012 at 12:30 PM
One important pending question is whether Forest City Ratner, the group's main funder, will fund BUILD for the 2012-2013 year. The last annual grant, $340,000, ran out at the end of March. I queried Forest City but didn't get an answer. More in my article: http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2012/09/job-training-group-build-signatory-of.html Norman Oder Atlantic Yards Report
Ekayani Chamberlin November 10, 2012 at 03:07 PM
So sad really. Why can't he just do the right thing?

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