Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Masyr: Honest Broker?

In today's New York Crain's In$ider the newsletter reports on the role being played by attorney Jesse Masyr. Masyr, a well-respected land-use attorney, has been retained pro bono to represent the interests of the West Harlem LDC in its community benefits negotiation with Columbia.

The problem lies with the fact that Masyr's retainer agreement gives him the right to be paid at a later date by "unnamed" third parties. Jesse has never represented the interests of any community group, at least not to our knowledge, and this leaves open the impression that he may not have the best interests of the local group at heart.

The outstanding issue here is how Masyr was referred to the LDC and, was it aware of his past representations? With this issue unresolved it leaves the board open to criticism that it is not truly representative of the community it has been formed to advocate for.