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Resource ID: #19867
Subject: Conflicts Of Interest
Source: Newsday (New York)
Date: 2002-12-15



A Newsday investigation of Suffolk County's nationally acclaimed land preservation program revealed that county officials gave priority status to land sellers with strong political connections, "paying them top dollar for parcels that sometimes weren't in danger of being developed, or had little environmental value. In some cases, appraisers involved in politically significant deals were allowed, even ordered, to use highly speculative or downright unlikely scenarios to increase the price. And time and again, Newsday found that officials bypassed a three-decades-old review process that was set up after a prior land scandal to protect against inflated prices."

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