Lipsky Attacks Lynch's Columbia Outreach, Lynch Responds

Taking stock of plan to expant Columbia Univerisity’s campus uptown, lobbyist Richard Lipsky is criticizing what he says is a possible conflict of interest among some key principles, including Harlem powerhouse Bill Lynch.

On his website, Lipsky writes that among other possible actions, critics of the plan “will be calling for an investigation of any conflicts of interest between elected officials on the LDC [local development corporation] and Bill Lynch, recently hired by Columbia to represent the university’s interest.”

I just got off the phone with Bill Lynch, who said the argument is pretty weak.

“Well I don’t see how we have any conflict of interest,” he said. “We’ve been hired by Columbia University to do outreach to the community and that’s what we’ve done.”

When asked about the elected officials in the area, Lynch said, “I know them all, but I don’t have any official relationship with them.”

Which, he said, leaves him a little puzzled as to what the problem is.

“I’m not a lawyer,” Lynch said. “My lawyers tell me it’s not a conflict of interest. It looks like they’re grasping for straws. That’s what it looks like to me.”

– Azi Paybarah