Report: Indictment near over Ridge Hill project vote
Federal investigators are leaning toward indicting Yonkers Councilwoman Sandy Annabi over the Ridge Hill project, according to the New York Times.
Annabi refused to comment on camera Monday, but reiterated claims of her innocence during a phone interview and said she's enduring an emotional beating in the media.
"I can tell you we did a thorough review of Ridge Hill and there was no wrongdoing," Annabi said during a March 2007 on-camera interview.
The councilwoman initially opposed the $660 million development project, which is currently under construction. In 2006, she cast the deciding vote that gave Ridge Hill the green light.
According to Annabi, she switched from being a vocal opponent after developer Forest City Ratner came up with an additional $10 million tax payment to benefit the city. However, questions were raised about the reason for her change of heart.
Federal subpoenas first arrived in March 2007 and more as recently as last week. Annabi didn't receive one initially, heightening speculation that she was a target in the investigation. Annabi has retained the services of high-profile defense attorney Murray Richman.
"I think they're trying to squeeze Annabi because they think she's ? related to Zehy Jereis and Al Pirro and this whole thing," said Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick. "Sandy is an upstanding councilwoman who's done nothing wrong."
Pirro worked for Forest City Ratner and Jereis, who is Annabi's cousin, was reportedly involved in the project.