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Queens Chronicle

Judge orders ICCC to comply with subpoena

Group must provide documents on its disputed Creedmoor land deal

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Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 12:00 pm | Updated: 12:55 pm, Thu Dec 29, 2011.

The Indian Cultural and Community Center, the nonprofit that’s seeking to build two nine-story apartment towers on the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus, has been ordered by a state Supreme Court judge to cooperate with an investigation of the plan within 30 days.

The ICCC has failed to fully respond to a subpoena issued earlier this year, and the state inspector general, who is investigating the land deal, asked the judge to force the group to comply, which he did, according to state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside).

“From the very beginning the ICCC has been misleading the community and withholding information about their true intentions for this project,” Avella said in a prepared statement, adding that the group is trying to “derail” the IG’s investigation.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez concluded that there is “a legitimate and reasonable basis” for the probe, the New York Post said Monday, and told the ICCC to provide all the information requested.

The state attorney general is also investigating the deal to determine if there was any inappropriate or criminal behavior on the part of the group and both current and former elected officials.

The ICCC’s lawyer, Vinoo Varghese, said in an email that the group is fully cooperating in the AG’s investigation and has turned over every document requested by that office. The organization has stopped working with the IG, he said, because its investigation resulted in the “harassment of law-abiding senior citizens,” who are being subjected to questioning by both agencies. The IG probe “is a waste of taxpayer dollars,” he claimed, because the AG is investigating the same issues.

In 2008, the group purchased two parcels of land at Creedmoor, the state-owned complex at 79-25 Winchester Blvd. in Queens Village, near the Bellerose border. The approximately 4.5 acres are adjacent to the homes on the west side of 242nd Street, from Union Turnpike to 82nd Avenue.

The ICCC initially told community leaders the land would be used to build a community center, athletic field and an above-ground parking lot, but the plan was changed to include looming towers of affordable housing for seniors. Many oppose the plan because they believe it is out of context with the surrounding area, which consists primarily of one- and two-story family homes.

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