Friday, September 21, 2012

Is Leslie Torres Still The President Of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp - No Official Word From RIOC Yet, But.... - Update, Ms Torres Resignation Confirmed

Image of Leslie Torres Upon Being Appointed RIOC President on August 4, 2010

Speculation arose last night during the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors meeting that RIOC President Leslie Torres may not be President much longer.

During the discussion of the Island House ground lease extension (which was approved), RIOC Director David Kraut asked why the resolution included language that the RIOC President or any Vice President could sign the resolution which is very unusual since historically resolutions were signed by the President. RIOC General Counsel Donald Lewis said that the language authorizing any RIOC Vice President to sign the resolution was included because RIOC was not sure when Ms. Torres would be available to sign the resolution. Mr. Kraut then asked:
Does staff know something that the Board does not about Ms. Torres availability to sign this document
Here's the discussion.

Full web cast of the meeting will be (is) here.

After the meeting, I asked RIOC Chair Darryl Towns and Mr. Lewis if there was any change in Ms. Torres status as RIOC President and if she would be continuing as RIOC President. I told them that in my opinion, the logical conclusion of Mr. Kraut's questions and their answers was that Ms. Torres was out as RIOC President. Both Mr. Towns and Mr. Lewis denied that there was any change in the status of Ms. Torres as RIOC President.

I also asked several RIOC Directors if they were aware of any change in Ms. Torres status. They responded that they did not know.

Earlier this morning, the Main Street WIRE sent out an email
Leslie Torres Said to Have Resigned

Reportedly, President Leslie Torres of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation has resigned. Torres was absent from last night's meeting of the RIOC Board of Directors, the absence unexplained. When the Board approved, 8 to 1, a resolution authorizing extension of the ground lease for Island House, the language indicated the lease could be signed by the president "or any vice president." It was clear from the comments and demeanor of RIOC staffers in the meeting, as well as Chair Darryl Towns, that they were attempting to skirt the issue of why that would be necessary.

The WIRE has learned that Torres has quit the job. More details in the October 8 issue of The Main Street WIRE.
If Ms. Torres is no longer RIOC President, then the very interesting question becomes who will it be and how will the RIOC President be hired - by the RIOC Board as authorized in law but never implemented in practice or by the Governor of NY, which has been the prior custom and practice.

Will the new RIOC President be a competent, experienced manager or a political crony/patron of the Governor's office?

Much more to come.

UPDATE 7:00 PM - Just received this statement from RIOC's Press Spokesperson issued at 6:45 PM Friday evening:
Leslie Torres, president of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) resigned her position effective today, Friday, September 21, 2012. Ms. Torres joined RIOC as president in August 2010. Ms. Torres is pursuing new opportunities. Donald D. Lewis has been named Acting President and CEO by the Chair of the RIOC Board of Directors, Darryl C. Towns.
The RIOC Governance Committee will be meeting in Executive Session (closed to the public) on Monday to discuss the matter:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Governance Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Monday, September 24, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Chair’s Motion for Executive Session to Discuss Personnel Matters;

Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee.
UPDATE 9/22 - RIOC Director David Kraut reports he has no comment at this time on situation.

UPDATE 9/24 - RIOC's Governance Committee met this evening to discuss selection of interim and permanent RIOC President. Here's what happened.


Mike Giroux said...

Hmmm, this sounds more like them preparing for her to be "unavailable", rather than out of office. I'd assume that if she was out of office, the VP would be acting president until a new president was appointed, right?

Perhaps this is something else - a period of leave for some reason? Although even with a leave period, you'd expect the VP to step in, but maybe the bylaws just don't work that way...

CheshireKitty said...

As always, the latter. Hasn't it always been a "patronage" job?

YetAnotherRIer said...

"The WIRE has learned that Torres has quit the job. More details in the October 8 issue of The Main Street WIRE."

Right. We suspend news coverage for two weeks until the next issue of the WIRE. Hmmm.... here's an idea: work with Rick and get news items out through his blog OR start a WIRE blog. It's not rocket science.

YetAnotherRIer said...

I'd expect a board not to make it a secret if they let go of the president or she resigned. Somehow it strikes me she'll be on extended leave (sickness? family problems?)

Anonymous said...

YES ron vass will become THE. Next Rioc president. So he can back stabbe THE people on the Island Like he Did to THE People of Eastwood

Mark Lyon said...

The "extended situation" they mentioned seemed, to me, more like she might need to take a leave of absence. It could be illness or some other personal situation, which would also be a good reason to not want to discuss in a public forum. I'd be careful about jumping to conclusions too quickly.

Anonymous said...

Thank YOU Patrick Stewart FOR staying The truth about THE deal made in Eastwood by ron vass and those Other backstabbers in THE Eastwood building committee .

Anonymous said...

But Patrick doses Not understand That deal Was gOOD FOR ron vass AND THE others in the e.b.c
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JimmyLaRoche said...

Me thinks she is fed up with the politics of dealing with residents.

Anonymous said...

O my god. What will we do with out her
.tHE World as we Know it is ending

Anonymous said...

GOOD FOR her. She could no longer work With People who are Two face

Anonymous said...

Frist matt Katz is Not running and NOW This
I cant Take it anymore. I am on my Way to belvue hospital

Anonymous said...

Good, when u get to the hospital maybe they can teach u how to spell!!!!

Anonymous said...

Romano Reid For Rioc president

rilander said...

How could she be when she was hardly ever here!

Anonymous said...

Torres. WHO

CheshireKitty said...

This is the wrong time to not have a someone at RIOC to take charge and be on top of the various projects. There is something massively idiotic about digging up the entire roadway at once in front of MP. Was there any thought given to emergency access? The project should have been done incrementally - finish a portion, then move on to the next portion - instead of all at once. They did the plaza at the Chapel this way - first one half, then the other half. I don't even live at MP but find it frustrating crossing the street to Motorgate - having to maneuver over/under the yellow tape.

YetAnotherRIer said...

"Was there any thought given to emergency access?" River Road is only closed on one side. Emergency access and exit is still very much possible. Also, where is this whole "having to maneuver over/under the yellow tape" coming from? The street is crossable up at 40 River Road just fine. Sure, you have to walk a block more - is that so bad?

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