Mike Bloomberg and David Paterson's Sketchy Appointment Reveals; Plus: Fun in Albany

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David Shankbone
A trustee at the Fashion Institute of Technology has been identified as the latest questionable appointment made by one of our very own New York politicians. Last September, Governor Paterson appointed Beverly S. Mack, who, as well as having no connection to the school or the fashion industry, has a history of money troubles, including a bankruptcy filing in the mid-'90s, and doesn't even seem to reside in New York state, a legal requirement of the position.

Morgan Hook, the governor's chief spokesman, defended Ms. Mack's appointment, saying she brought a "unique business perspective" to the table. But...

When pressed on the question of how Ms. Mack could properly serve on the board if she lived in another state, Mr. Hook said: "Touché!"

Meanwhile, the other trustees remain perplexed as to why the mysterious Ms. Mack never showed up for last week's board meeting after calling to say she was stuck in traffic and is now not returning their calls or e-mails. (We patented that move!)

In other appointment news, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has formally appointed Patricia E. Harris, his first deputy mayor and highest-paid employee, as chairwoman and chief executive of his $1.75 billion charity. She'll "keep her job at City Hall, in which she advises the mayor on all major policy decisions and oversees more than a dozen agencies and commissions," despite questions from philanthropy and government groups as to how she'll keep the two roles separate (not to mention our concerns about how she'll have time to do both jobs without some sort of Harry Potter-esque time shifting capability).

In a word:

"Jeez!" said John C. Liu, the city's comptroller and chief financial officer.

Meanwhile, Albany keeps with tradition and blows past its budget deadline for the fourth consecutive year. As of today, "lawmakers and Paterson will no longer get paid until a budget is passed." Did somebody say time shift?

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