Monday, June 1, 2009

Randy & Lonn Go To Court

Our New York State Capital Correspondent, Big Willie Style, informed me that our two least favorite Yankee Front Office execs are back in Albany today, talking with Richard Brodsky. Brodsky, as you may recall, became a Fack Youk favorite when he challenged Levine to an "in-your-face fistfight" back in January. 

Trost and Levine's side of the argument have called Brodsky's demands "grandstanding", "a personal vendetta", and "a grab for attention on his part". 

Brodsky complains the Yankees are "bullying" him and has countered by pointing out that the New Stadium has cost roughly twice as much as Citi Field, and claiming "The state could have bought the Yankees for less than it cost to build the stadium."

The issue that they argued over today was the release of records in conjunction with the construction of the New Stadium that Brodsky is demanding. The assemblyman from Westchester wants to see roughly 1.39 million emails and attachments and 408 boxes of records. The Yanks claim the emails alone would cost $5.5M to process with the paper records adding "several million more dollars" to the cost. 

One comment I found interesting from Trost was: 
I am fairly certain that some of those boxes contain documents relating to the project, however the boxes are not indexed in such a way as to determine which boxes contain such documents and therefore a fulsome review would need to be undertaken to determine which boxes contain responsive information.
On one hand, the Yankees are crying foul that they will have to pay, say $8 or 9 million dollars for the documents to be "fulsome(ly) review(ed)" by a swarm of lawyers being paid by the hour, but they are also the ones claiming that it is necessary for them to be reviewed. Maybe you should have organized the documents produced during the 1.5 billion dollar construction project a little better, Lonn.

After talking with our resident law school graduate, Joe, I've gathered that the review allows the Yankees the chance to redact anything confidential before it becomes part of the public record. As a private business, there are a vast array of things they don't need to disclose, but that would not include documents relating to public financing. 

Even if Brodsky does manage to force the Yankees to turn over the relevant documents, it will be after the Yankees' lawyers have had a chance to pour over them with a fine-toothed comb, a process that will certainly take a great deal of time. After that, The State will have to review what is turned over to them, which will most likely take as long or longer and cost the taxpayers even more money. 

In principle and for the sake of transparency, it seems like the Yankees should have to turn over these documents, because while $5.5M is a lot of money, they've received far beyond that in State funding for the project. What I'm thinking after doing some digging on the issue is that, A) It's going to take an eternity to do this and, B) I highly doubt that the Yankees are going to anything incriminating slip through the cracks if they can help it.

Sorry Brodsky, but I'm still in your corner for the Randy Levine fight. 

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