Thursday, March 3, 2011
Waterfront Commissioner illegally parks car with state placard to teach NYU class on corruption
A Waterfront Commission honcho used a cushy job perk to illegally park his Lexus outside New York University Law School while he taught a class on corruption.
New York Waterfront Commissioner Ronald Goldstock insisted he was on "official police business" when the Daily News caught him red-handed using a state-issued parking placard to get the choice spot.
His wheels had been planted under a "No Parking" sign for at least six hours Tuesday when he strolled out of the law school around 5:50 p.m., just minutes after his course, Corruption and Corruption Control, ended.
Asked what kind of police business he was on, the former organized-crime prosecutor sputtered, "I was attending a Vera Institute of Justice luncheon."
Goldstock refused to elaborate and sat steaming in the driver's seat.
When asked how parking illegally on Washington Square South jibes with teaching a course on corruption, Goldstock slammed his door shut, yanked the placard off the dashboard and sped off.
It's not the first time Waterfront Commission officials have gotten jammed up for pushing their parking privileges in the city, where spaces are at a premium.
Last fall, The News busted then-New Jersey Waterfront Commissioner Barry Evenchick as he pulled into a spot being guarded by detectives in front of the commission's lower Manhattan office.
Evenchick vacated his seat two weeks later at the request of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Evenchick's predecessor, Michael Madonna, had been fired amid allegations of corruption at the bistate agency.
The parking shenanigans have continued despite a scathing report by the New York State inspector general two years ago warning that the practice of holding spaces was an abuse of authority and parking placards were being misused.
The state Office of Court Administration gives the commission 49 of the coveted placards. "The OCA is directed by the city to provide placards to three agencies, including the Waterfront Commission," spokesman David Bookstaver said.
Gov. David Paterson appointed Goldstock, a former organized-crime prosecutor, to the commission in 2008.
A Vera Institute spokesman said Wednesday the law school had invited Director Michael Jacobson to be the guest speaker at a luncheon earlier in the afternoon to talk about the group's reform of the New Orleans criminal justice system. An NYU spokesman also confirmed that Goldstock taught a class after the luncheon.
Inspired by the classic film "On the Waterfront," the commission was created in 1953 to investigate mob influence and corruption on the docks in New York City and New Jersey