Student suspended after blasting lawmaker’s pro-development stance

More fallout from pol’s backing of BFC’s Crown Heights armory project

New York /
Sep.September 21, 2020 11:41 AM
Council member Laurie Cumbo  and a rendering of the Bedford-Union Armory (Getty; Bedford Armory)

Council member Laurie Cumbo  and a rendering of the Bedford-Union Armory (Getty; Bedford Armory)

A student is suing a New York City Council member, alleging the politician had her suspended for publicly criticizing the lawmaker’s stance on a controversial Crown Heights project.

Medgar Evers College reprimanded student Sakia Fletcher, allegedly at the behest of Council member Laurie Cumbo, after Fletcher argued with her about Cumbo’s vote in 2017 for the Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment, the New York Daily News reported. The day after the April 2019 exchange, at a community board meeting, Fletcher, the student body president-elect at the time, was suspended for 10 days.

In statements, a spokesperson for the city’s Law Department and Medgar Evers College both denied the charges, with the city saying they have “no merit.”

The hubbub at Community Board 9 took place nearly two years after the City Council approved the redevelopment of the Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights. The controversial project hinged on Cumbo’s support.

After initially supporting the proposal, Cumbo began opposing it after locals raised objections. But eventually Cumbo negotiated with the developer, Donald Capoccia’s BFC Partners, to increase the portion of affordable apartments and eliminate market-rate condos from the plan. Following her lead, the Council then approved BFC’s application. [NYDN] — Georgia Kromrei


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