In the wake of Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s arrest in January, I asked board president Gary Altman to clear the air about East River’s relationship with Arthur Goldberg. Goldberg is a real estate lawyer who for many years has handled East River tax certiorari cases. Goldberg was also named in the federal indictment against Silver as one of the lawyers alleged to send kickbacks to the former speaker.
Given Silver’s long association with East River’s management and directors, I thought it was reasonable to ask that cooperators be assured that no past or present members of East River’s board or management had received referral fees for our business with Goldberg.
I received no answer from Mr. Altman to my February 2 letter. At the beginning of March I sent him the same letter and still received no answer. In fact, I have yet to receive even an acknowledgement of my question being asked. Today I delivered my letter to Mr. Altman for a third time.
To be clear, the Silver indictment in no way implicates East River. But since even the mention of East River in such a high-profile case of alleged fraud naturally raises cooperators’ concerns — not to mention prospective buyers’ misgivings — it seemed natural that the board should have the opportunity to address the elephant in the room. I cannot imagine why Mr. Altman has decided to ignore these reasonable questions.
Here is the original letter: