Milstein tapped to run Thruway Authority

June 02, 2011 09:36AM

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has nominated developer Howard Milstein as the new chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority, overseeing both the Thruway and the 524 miles of the state’s canals, according to the New York Times. Milstein, who presides with his brother, Edward, over his family’s Manhattan real estate empire and is also the chairman and CEO of Emigrant Savings Bank, has donated generously to Cuomo’s campaigns and both he and his wife served on the governor’s transition team. Though the Thruway Authority position is unpaid, some watchdog groups immediately raised red flags about potential conflicts of interest between Milstein’s real estate holdings and economic development projects that might arise during his tenure, which Cuomo dismissed. “Having a private-sector businessman who’s a success in real estate and finance makes total sense for the Thruway Authority,” Cuomo said. “I don’t know specifically his real estate holdings, but of course if there was ever a conflict of interest between his private holdings and his public duty, that would be handled appropriately.” The Senate Transportation Committee is expected to consider Milstein’s nomination before the end of the legislative session June 20. [NYT]