New York (AP) — On the final day of a civil fraud trial that could strip Donald Trump of his ability to do business in the state he called home for most of his life, New York City officials were taking their own steps to sever ties with the former president by erasing his name from a Bronx golf course.
The hulking hillside “Trump Links” sign, visible for nearly a decade to motorists passing over the Whitestone Bridge, was removed this week ahead of a ribbon-cutting Thursday to unveil the new name of the Ferry Point golf course, Bally Links.
The rebranding came months after the Trump Organization offloaded the operations of the 18-hole public course to Bally’s Corporation, a gaming and entertainment company hoping to build a casino in New York.
Speaking at the unveiling, Mayor Eric Adams described the lease takeover as a major upgrade for the Bronx. “This day is about so much more than the changing of a sign,” he said.
Following the Jan. 6th insurrection, then-Mayor Bill de Blasio moved to scrap the contract with the Trump Organization, which had been managing the course since 2015, arguing that Trump’s incitement of rioters had given the city legal authority to do so. A state judge rejected that argument.
In September, the Trump Organization sold the operating rights to Bally’s for $60 million. The terms of the lease were first disclosed in November during the civil fraud trial delving into the ex-president’s finances and the family business’ dealings.
Under questioning, the former president’s son Donald Trump Jr. said the family company had incurred “a lot of costs” managing the course. He said he wasn’t sure if they turned a profit.
That trial came to a close on Thursday, with a decision expected by the end of the month.
The former president changed his legal residence from New York City to Palm Beach, Florida, in 2019.
Jake Offenhartz, The Associated Press