The following is an article from 2013. We raise it today because of the events of yesterday linking Mateo to donation bundling on behalf of de Blasio. While we have heard reports of drugs, money, cash switching hands, payoffs, etc. what we found interesting are the partners involved. You will be hearing more of them in the future. For now. We leave you with the following picture and a question: “When does de Blasio go down?” We also think you may want to look to political contributions for some answers. We will follow-up.
A power struggle among the owners of a Hudson River hangout that draws celebs from Jay Z and Beyoncé to Leonardo DiCaprio is threatening to sink the trendy lounge even before its two-year anniversary.
The battle over La Marina has gotten so bizarre that one owner — former taxi bigwig Fernando Mateo — even challenged two of his business partners to a boxing bout to settle their dispute, according to Manhattan Supreme Court papers.
Mateo, the former head of the state Federation of Taxi Drivers who bought into the business and now manages it, is at loggerheads with the founding members of the lounge and 22-boat-slip marina on Dyckman Street in Inwood.
The fight started after the founders, Jerald Tenenbaum and Joshua Rosen, allegedly duped a fourth partner, Chris Villano, to sign over his voting rights while he was in the throes of a mental breakdown.
Villano still maintained his 5 percent stake in the business. Mateo then sought to commandeer Villano’s interest to add to his own 45 percent, which would give him as much control as the two founders.
Tenenbaum and Rosen are now suing Mateo and Villano to stop the move. The two founding owners are asking the court to instead hand them majority control over the $7 million-a-year venture.
Their suit accuses Mateo and Villano, of “fomenting a bitter power struggle that threatens to tear the company asunder.”
The property is on public park land. Mateo lost a city bid in 2009 to run the 75,000-square-foot waterfront concession himself but later bought his way into the company.
La Marina won a 15-year lease in 2012 to operate the pricey hot spot there, serving up $12 margaritas and $24 entrees while paying $1.3 million annually to the city for the privilege. Mayor Bloomberg attended its ribbon-cutting opening.
The fiery Mateo — who last made headlines for staging a protest outside Major League Baseball’s Park Avenue headquarters over Alex Rodriguez’s suspension — is accused in the lawsuit of unilaterally making decisions about the property.
He also improperly paid himself $500,000 during the outdoor lounge’s off-season, “obliterated employee morale” and created a “hostile environment” at the lounge, the suit says.