TARP-funded corporations have been harshly criticized recently for continued use of luxury perks and corporate waste. President Obama has voiced his outrage, introducing regulations on executive compensation and on the disclosure of money spent on such perks. After pressure from his administration, Citigroup abandoned plans for a new $50 million corporate jet from France. And in February, Obama said the days of bank executives flying corporate jets "were over."
But on March 11, the chairman of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, said he could not understand why corporate America has such a bad image.
"When I hear the constant vilification of corporate America I personally don't understand it," Dimon said.
Dimon, whose 2008 compensation package, according to SEC documents, was worth more than $19 million in salary, stock and options, declined to speak with ABC News about the proposed plans.
"There are going to be business school case studies for generations about exactly these decisions, and people will be learning forever about what incredible stupidity these executives showed," said Minow.
Dolphin said his company approached the county in 2007 to renew the lease for a 30-year term. But, he said, the county uncharacteristically decided to look elsewhere for another tenant and put out a Request for Proposals. Avitat Westchester has filed a federal lawsuit against the county, saying its decision goes against past practices and violates their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Dolphin believes the county is retaliating against them after previous disagreements between the company and the county.
Westchester County Officials tell ABC News they're in favor of going forward with the JPMorgan proposal because it "is the best deal for county taxpayers and the best deal for the environment." They say that if the Board of Legislators approves the new lease, the county "will be happy to discuss with any company that may be displaced from the current hangar other alternatives for them."