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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Procurement works when politics fail

Aqueduct Casino Deal is Dead
Gov. David A. Paterson’s office announced on Thursday that the company he had chosen to build and run a casino at the Aqueduct racetrack could not pass muster with state licensing officials and would not be awarded the lucrative contract.

The governor’s office said it now wanted to pursue a traditional, though rapid, procurement process, rather than the process that has been underway for eight years, of trying to reach a consensus pick among the leaders of the legislature and the governor.

A senior administration official said the company that had been selected, Aqueduct Entertainment Group, had supplied insufficient financial details for some of its investors. In other cases, the state’s Lottery Division was not comfortable licensing some of the company’s investors. The state had given the company until Tuesday to supply the information.

Barry Berke, a lawyer for Aqueduct Entertainment Group, called the state’s decision “arbitrary and capricious” and suggested the group is considering filing a lawsuit
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