Will Cuomo’s Replacement Protect Ultra-Orthodox Sex Crime Victims?

Kenneth-Thompson-picture-5

D.A. Kenneth Thompson, “Voice for racial justice” but not for molested children…

We would not want to celebrate someone’s demise. It would be purely awful of us. He leaves behind a wife and children, parents and siblings.

We offer our sincerest condolences to those who mourn his loss. We do not.

We can’t help but hope that his successor will do more, just a little more is something, to help the victims of sexual assault, suffered at the hands of Rabbis, and frankly Priests. We find ourselves praying, just short prayer, that his successor cannot be swayed by the power of the bloc of ultra-Orthodox voters and power brokers.  Perhaps he will meet these men again…

Kenneth-Thompson-picture-with-rabbis

Ken Thompson, Brooklyn District Attorney, Dies After Disclosing Cancer

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/10/nyregion/ken-thompson-brooklyns-first-black-district-attorney-dies-at-50.html?_r=0

Kenneth P. Thompson, the first black district attorney of Brooklyn and a voice for racial justice at a moment of tension between law enforcement and minority communities, died on Sunday from cancer, his family said. He was 50.

Mr. Thompson was elected district attorney in 2013 after campaigning on a platform of reform and racial justice, and unseating Charles J. Hynes, a fellow Democrat and a troubled incumbent who had served more than 20 years.

After being absent from his office for nearly two months, Mr. Thompson released a statement on Tuesday saying he had cancer. His office released a second statement on Sunday night, announcing his death and saying that his family had been by his side at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan when he died.

A former federal prosecutor who went on to have a successful private law practice, Mr. Thompson earned a reputation in office as one of the country’s most progressive district attorneys, creating a robust internal unit that reviewed questionable convictions and establishing a policy of not prosecuting most low-level marijuana arrests.

At a moment of heightened racial tension over police-related shootings, he chose to prosecute — and eventually won — the complicated case of Peter Liang, the former New York City police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man, Akai Gurley, in the stairwell of a housing project in 2014. After the trial was over, Mr. Thompson decided not to seek prison time for Mr. Liang, which enraged Mr. Gurley’s family and led to protests.

“The thoughts and prayers of our entire city are with District Attorney Ken Thompson, his family and his loved ones tonight,” Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, said in a statement on Sunday. “With a life and promise cut far too short, our city was blessed with but a glimpse of Ken’s unwavering commitment to justice and his unrivaled pursuit of a more fair system for all those he served.”

Born and raised in New York City, Mr. Thompson was the son of a police officer and lived in public housing in Harlem before moving to Co-Op City, a housing development in the Bronx. He attended the city’s public schools and applied to the Police Department, as his mother had, before choosing instead to attend the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. After his graduation, he obtained a law degree from the New York University School of Law.

On the advice of one of his law professors, Ronald K. Noble, a onetime Treasury Department official and the secretary general of Interpol, Mr. Thompson sought and found a position as a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn. In 1997, he was assigned the prestigious task of making the opening statement at the trial of Justin Volpe, a former police officer who eventually pleaded guilty to torturing a Haitian immigrant, Abner Louima, with a broken broomstick in the bathroom of a Brooklyn station house.

After leaving government service, Mr. Thompson went into private practice. His most prominent case was representing an African-born hotel housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, who accused the French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn of raping her in a Manhattan hotel room in 2011. Cyrus Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, eventually dismissed the case, and Mr. Thompson was criticized for his incendiary personal attacks against Mr. Vance and members of his staff.

Mr. Thompson had harbored ambitions for higher office, but, according to a friend who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Mr. Thompson declined to disclose the type of his cancer, learned he had an aggressive form of the disease this year. By the time he received the diagnosis, the cancer had already metastasized and was incurable.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo may now name a replacement for Mr. Thompson, who would have faced re-election next year. “A lifelong New Yorker, Ken was known as an effective, aggressive civil rights leader — and a national voice for criminal justice reform,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement on Sunday.

Mr. Thompson is survived by his wife of 17 years, Lu-Shawn Thompson; his children, Kennedy and Kenny; his mother; his father; his brother; and his sister.

 

To read the article in its entirety click here.

 

D.A. Kenneth Thompson and the Child Sex Abuse Cases You Swept, Sweep Away…

ken-thompson-jewish

Guest Author: Eric Aiken

http://protectjewishkids.com/?p=2594

How the Brooklyn D.A. covers-up Orthodox child molesters, 1 of 2

This is the first in a 2-part series

Over a year and a half ago, I made a Freedom of Information Law request (FOIL) to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. I wanted the photo and arrest report of 15 Orthodox men who were convicted by the Brooklyn D.A. of child sex crimes.

Having access to both the photo and arrest report are important for the public. Parents need a photo so they can identify Orthodox child sex predators in their communities and keep them away from their kids. In addition, many individuals share the same name. Only a photo can help the public separate the innocent from the guilty.

The arrest report also contains crucial information. Few people realize how disgusting, perverted and sub-human Orthodox child sex predators can be without having access to this information, as difficult and horrifying as it is to read.

Moshe Friedman - picture 2The case of Moshe Friedman illustrates why the arrest report is needed. In a criminal case currently in the Brooklyn court system, Moshe Friedman was arrested on child sex abuse charges. His name didn’t show up on any blog, website or media report.

A source gave me a redacted copy of Friedman’s arrest report. The report states that Friedman sodomized a young boy with a banana, bit the boy’s penis, beat him and shoved rags into the boy’s mouth. He then put a gun to the boy’s head, threatening to kill him and his family if he told anyone what happened. According to the report, this occurred multiple times per month and over the course of a year and a half.

Another source told me that when the rabbis at Friedman’s school were informed of the allegations against Friedman, they didn’t call the police. Rabbis rarely do, no matter how serious the allegations. Someone else reported Friedman to the police.

I forwarded the information I had about Friedman to a network of child victim advocates. One of them knew a reporter who sent a photographer to the Brooklyn courthouse where Friedman was being tried. The result is that I (and now the public) have a photo of him and the New York Daily News did a story on him. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-math-tutor-busted-molesting-student-article-1.2718757

Rabbis and Orthodox officials frequently ignore, minimize or cover up known Orthodox child sex predators. They do this to prevent the Orthodox community from discovering the humiliating truth about how common and pervasive child sexual abuse is.

When an Orthodox individual is convicted of a child sex crime, few people know what he did because they rarely have access to the arrest reports. If the public knew, I believe there would be much more outrage about the way that rabbis cover up and protect these dangerous criminals.

The Brooklyn D.A.’s office told me that they didn’t have the photos or arrest reports of any of the 15 men that I asked about – even though the D.A.’s office confirmed to me in writing that they prosecuted and convicted them. The D.A.’s office told me that I should send my request to NYPD instead.

So I did.

NYPD refused to give me a single record that I requested. I appealed NYPD’s decision to the FOIL appeals officer, Jonathan David. He made me wait nearly 5 months before he issued his decision – that he wasn’t going to give me a single one of the records that I requested. He made the ridiculous claim that releasing the photos and redacted arrest reports of any of these 15 convicted Orthodox child sex offenders would identify their victims and thereby violate the victims’ right to privacy.

This is nonsense. Releasing an Orthodox child molester’s photo doesn’t identify his victim and neither does issuing a redacted arrest report. But it does embarrass the rabbis who cover up and protect Orthodox child molesters and run the Orthodox institutions in which the abuse frequently occurs.

Interestingly, Mr. David’s argument that releasing the photos of convicted Orthodox child sex offenders would violate the law doesn’t seem to apply to the 24,000 non-Orthodox registered sex offenders on New York’s public sex offender registry. http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/SomsSUBDirectory/search_index.jsp

New York’s public registry is able to include the pictures and conviction records of 24,000 sex offenders without violating any law, identifying a single victim or violating the rights of anyone. But for the Orthodox men that I want to know about, the Brooklyn D.A. and NYPD is adamant that every single one of them must be shielded from public view.

The Brooklyn D.A. has a long history of ignoring and covering-up rampant child sexual abuse in Orthodox neighborhoods and allowing rabbis to punish victims who testify against their abuser. In the second article of this series, I show how the current D.A., Kenneth Thompson, continues the corrupt legacy of his predecessor, Charles Hynes.

Eric Aiken is the owner of http://www.protectjewishkids.com and an advocate for Orthodox victims of child sexual abuse. “The List” is the world’s largest database of Orthodox child molesters.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Danny Chun – What are You being Paid to Provide Leniency???

 

DANNY CHUN AND DESPICABLE TAJ PATTERSON RULING, DANNY CHUN AND BROOKLYN SLUMLORDS…. WHAT ELSE IS YOUR SOUL BEING SOLD TO DO?

This weekend we were provided a tip that the same judge who ordered community service and $1,400 in reparations fro the brutal beating of Taj Patterson may also be the same judge who is allowing slumlords to fleece their tenants. And, it turns out the tip was unsettlingly correct, making us wonder whether this Judge is just another piece of the ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn food chain allowing the Hasidim if various Brooklyn neighborhoods to act with impunity.

The Tal Patterson ruling that has drawn ire amongst many who believe that the men involved should have been charged with a hate crime and given the maximum sentence. They were instead punished withe community service (which they are now arguing should not be in a “socially diverse setting.” Let’s not forget the brutality with which they beat Taj Patterson. Were it up to us, they would be standing in a black neighborhood with signs like in the “Die Hard” movie wherein Bruce Willis must stand on a corner proclaiming his hatred for blacks, but using more derogatory terms. 

Int he current slumlord ruling, it looks like the judicial friend of the Hasidic community is again going to offer leniency, again to the detriment of anyone not Hasidic. All we can do is wonder how cheaply Judge Danny Chun’s services are being offered out. We are further unsettled that it would appear that not only do they have at lease one D.A. in their pockets, Kenneth Thomson, but they have a judge sitting there where D.A. Thompson decides to prosecute.

Have you no conscience Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun? Were you not put in your position to uphold the law? Did you do so in the Taj Patterson case? No.  

 

index

Brooklyn slumlord brothers accused of forcing out tenants so they could hike rents working on plea deal

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS ARTICLE CLICK HERE.

Continue reading

D.A. Ken Thompson… Contributions Speak Volumes

ken thompson
Advocates are furious he has taken thousands in campaign donations from bigwigs in the Satmar community, a Hasidic sect that strenuously opposes any secular oversight into sexual molestation accusations. The donations were first reported in The Jewish Week.
“Our frustration is that we feel he needs to talk to the victims and the community and not to those politically affiliated,” Miriam Nockenofsky, an advocate for Jewish sex abuse victims.  “Why is that he’s only talking to the leaders? It’s not right.”  The Daily News

 

Does D.A. Thompson’s Campaign Contribution List Reflect a Cottage Industry of Protecting ultra-Orthodox Serial Child Molesters, Fraudsters and Other Criminals Within the Ultra-Orthodox/Orthodox Community?

Lost Messiah, July 11, 2016

We began looking at DA Thompson months ago, having been alerted that he has a penchant for setting serial child abusers free, accepting reduced sentences (link to an article about the 60-day sentence given to someone with 52 counts and 4 victims) and even ignoring cases.

With the request for assistance in identifying Moses Friedman, we looked more closely.

In 2015, D.A. Thompson’s NYS Campaign Finance Disclosure (12th Name down) showed a $1,000.00 contribution from Attorney Aidala, who is representing Friedman. Since the payment of a $10,000.00 bail by Friedman, there have been 14 adjournments for an incident dated September 1, 2013. The children Friedman allegedly hurt will never be free from reliving this abuse and yet Friedman remains a Free-Man, the irony.

On October 26, 2015, Howard Fensterman contributed $5,000.00 to D.A. Thompson. 

Continue reading

Former BP Y and Hatzalah EMS member – sex abuse

mendy

This is Brooklyn and we can’t be certain Mendy  Israel will be convicted, particularly if Kenneth Thompson gets anywhere near his case.  He did, after all, remain a member of the Y for quite a while after the initial charges were raised.

We thought that a gentle reminder of the nature of the crime and the stakes involved might be in order. To the D.A. who handles this case:

“We are talking about a little girl. We are talking about a life that will be forever altered, a child’s dreams that will be tormented for a lifetime. Don’t sacrifice your soul in exchange for votes by setting this serial sex offender free. End the madness.” – LM

Former Borough Park Y board member who volunteers with Hatzalah EMS charged with child sex abuse

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/boro-park-y-board-member-charged-child-sex-abuse-article-1.2686786

A former board member of the Borough Park Y was indicted for sexually abusing a little girl over a span of seven years, prosecutors said Friday.

Samuel “Mendy” Israel was charged in March for molesting the child when she was between 10 and 17 years old from 2000 until November 2007, according to the criminal complaint.

Israel, 44, was listed as a member of the board until earlier this month, but is still allegedly an active member of the Hatzalah of Boro Park volunteer ambulance service, a source said.

“He has access to treat children in their most vulnerable moment … the community protects him thinking it’s a joke telling people he’s in court over money matters,” the source told the Daily News.

Gov. Cuomo blasts spike in sex crimes on subway

Israel was charged with four counts of sexual conduct against a child and endangering the welfare of a child.

Prosecutors offered Israel a five-year plea bargain at an earlier court appearance that he declined, a source said.

The alleged molestation happened inside a residence on 60th St. near Franklin D. Roosevelt High School and at an undisclosed location, according to court documents.

Israel, who is out on $100,000 bail, refused to answer questions outside of Brooklyn Supreme Court on Friday, where he had a brief court appearance.

Sen. Schumer pushes to extend statute for sex crimes victims

To read the remainder of the article click, here.

For related links:

http://dusiznies.blogspot.com/2016/03/mendy-shmuel-israel-arrested-for-child.html

https://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/mendy-israel-remains-on-the-board-of-the-boro-park-y-in-spite-of-a-child-molesting-indictment/

 

Leopold Friedman, Joe Chetrit, Seabrook, Platinum…

Ben Landa…Bent Philipson…Howard Fensterman – LEOPOLD FRIEDMAN, JOE CHETRIT, Mayor de Blasio and Kenneth Thomson

Contributor to LM, May 27, 2016

We recommend that you read the connected story to this one before embarking on this piece. We further recommend that you read about Leopold Friendman and 266 Broadway, another intertwined story.

This article is simply a continuation of the tale of people connected by politics, money, LLC’s, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, moral bankruptcy and political contributions to Mayor de Blasio and…. wait for it…. Ken Thompson and others.

As it happens, we would be remiss if we did not go back to 2009 and add that the entanglements include toxic waste and lead, school children and zoning violations. 

 

LEOPOLD FRIEDMAN:

HUDSON POINTE 50%- ‘NEW’OPERATOR-WAS RIVERDALE CENTER

(LEASING FROM RCNR REALTY ACQUISITION LLC)

THE PLAZA REHAB /AKA TCPRNC LLC 25% (was New Jewish Home Lifecare )

TCPRNC LLC

ATLANTIS-DEVORAH 40%

DEWITT REHAB

SBNH ACQUISTIONS LLC-Managing Member

ST BARNABAS /SBNH ACQUISITIONS  (Bronx)

PENINSULA Center for Extended Care & Rehabilitation (rec/op)

KINGSBRIDGE HEIGHTS REHAB-50%

Hendon Garden Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

Dewitt Rehab and Nursing

Advanced Care Staffing

Ultimate Care, Inc. (LHCSA)
The Citadel Rehabilitation and Nursing

151108 Long Beach Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

151308 Brooklyn Gardens Dialysis Center (D&TC)

141210 Cassena Care Dialysis at Peninsula (D&TC)

Port Chester Operating, LLC d/b/a Port Chester Nursing & Rehab Centre-DEVORAH FRIEDMAN

Through his companies, Leo Friedman gave more than $30,000 to Kenneth Thompson’s successful campaign for Brooklyn district attorney

Looking for POT license: Two of the principals behind NY Growing Partners, LLC are nursing home magnate and Ger chasid Michael Melnicke and Leo Friedman, the son of Satmar powerbroker Moses Friedman, otherwise known as Moshe Gabbai.

The company is one of 43 that submitted an application earlier this month to the New York State Department of Health to become one of five registered organizations to manufacture and dispense approved medical marijuana products in the state. The other two principals in NY Growing Partners are Alexander Solovey and Pat (Pasquale) DeBenedictis.

Read: http://nypost.com/2016/05/11/nursing-home-with-ties-to-senator-awarded-30m-grant/

Nursing home with ties to senator awarded $30M grant

A little-noticed provision of this year’s budget directs $30 million to a single nursing home in The Bronx — which is unusual even by the standards of New York state government,” noted the Empire Center for Public Policy.

http://www.empirecenter.org/publications/a-head-scratcher-in-the-health-budget/

A head-scratcher in the health budget (updated)

According to the Health Department records, the owners since last year are Leopold Friedman, who holds a 50 percent stake and is also chief executive, Esther Farkowitz (25 percent), Gabrielle Philipson (20 percent), and Bent Philipson (5 percent).

The new owners’ application to take over and renovate the nursing home, which included a detailed financing plan for the project, made no mention of extra state funding from Medicaid. It estimated the facility would turn a profit of $1.6 million in its third year after renovations were complete.

Contacted by NYTorch, Sen. Klein contended that the extra funding for Citadel will ultimately save the state $78 million. This is because the owners could have qualified for dramatically higher reimbursement from Medicaid if they had built a completely new nursing home, instead of renovating one that already existed. A fuller statement of this argument is spelled out in the sponsor’s memo of a stand-alone bill jointly introduced last year by Klein and Bronx Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz.

 

chetrit1.jpg

JOSEPH CHETRIT –NYC REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER

CHURNER –MAYOR DE BLASIO  ENABLED HIM… PATIENTS/RESIDENTS/CHILDREN GET SCREWED/TOXIC SITE

A little something on Chetrit …Then scroll down…ready to build on toxic land and the Mayor lets him:

http://therealdeal.com/2015/11/09/chetrit-jdss-340-flatbush-gets-new-rendering/

The story unfolds:

http://www.nypress.com/jewish-home-land-swap/

Jewish Home Land Swap

PUBLISHED AUG 13, 2009 AT 6:01 AM (UPDATED MAR 2, 2015)

Representatives from jewish home lifecare, an organization that provides health care for seniors, met with community groups on aug. 12 to unveil a proposal to redevelop its west 106th street nursing home in park west village, on west 100th street.

To bankroll the new nursing home, a project that has long been in the works and was originally planned for the south side of west 106th street between columbus and amsterdam avenues, jewish home was going to sell part of its property to a developer. but with the economy faltering and developers reluctant to buy, the only offer came from joe chetrit, who has taken community heat for his columbus square project, consisting of five luxury rentals and retail space at park west village.

In the deal, chetrit will own jewish home’s current property, at 120 w. 106th st. jewish home will then build its proposed 22-story nursing home on top of land that was to be used for 180 parking spaces, on west 100th street between amsterdam and columbus avenues. those spots will be moved to an indoor parking area without an increase in rates for owners. newly built park space, gardens, outdoor seating and an indoor auditorium for the nursing home residents will also be open to park west village residents.

“Relocating to west 100th street will have a net positive impact on jewish home’s upper west side clients, family members, employees and neighbors,” said bruce nathanson, senior vice president of marketing and communications for jewish home lifecare.

By building a new facility elsewhere, jewish home can continue to operate at full capacity without staff layoffs and construction disruptions for its residents.

However, community groups fear that chetrit will build a massive luxury tower on jewish home’s west 106th street property because of the 2007 upper west side rezoning plan.

That year, jewish home collaborated with community groups in a deal with the city council that carved the nonprofit’s parcel out of the 51-block upper west side rezoning plan, which drastically reduced neighborhood building heights. the concession was meant to allow the nursing home to rebuild a larger, state-of-the-art facility that could update the service provided to clients.

“We had a whole deal and process. we spent a long time putting it together,” said blanca vazquez, co-coordinator of the manhattan valley preservation coalition, which worked on the 2007 zoning compromise. “and now, everything is out the window and up in the air.

Vazquez said the group was upset by the deal because the exemption was based on Jewish Home’s goodwill with the community and the promise of a community facility.

“This is not a simple swap or trade,” Vazquez said. “they made a commitment to community use.

Although Jewish Home’s nursing home will now be located elsewhere, Chetrit will still be allowed to build tall, market-rate residential towers without zoning restrictions, per the 2007 agreement.

Assembly member Daniel O’Donnell, who opposed Jewish Home’s exclusion from the rezoning plan, said he was troubled by the new proposal.

“The city council carved out an exception for that site on west 106th street because it was to be used for health care facility,” o’donnell said. “now, that exception seems to be used for a for-profit housing developer. it’s changing the rules in the middle of the game.”

O’Donnell is calling on the council to have Jewish Home’s West 106th Street property conform to surrounding zoning.

“If someone wants to build a for-profit development, they should build within the context [of the neighborhood],” O’Donnell said.”

http://therealdeal.com/2011/12/20/laurence-gluck-of-stellar-management-and-joseph-chetrit-complete-upper-west-side-landsway-with-jewish-home-lifecare/

An excerpt from above:

“Jewish Home had previously struck an agreement with Gluck and Chetrit for a lot on West 100th Street, but zoning regulations made it difficult to build the site.

Meanwhile, Chetrit and Gluck get a large swath of land for future development, although the pair said they wouldn’t begin any construction on the site until the new Jewish Home facility is completed in 2017.” [WSJ]

The City sides with this nursing home connivance –the trade that Chetrit maneuvered seemingly with our Mayor’s help. The community’s furious objection because of the unequivocal findings of  toxic contamination evidenced on the lot for the ‘new’ Jewish Home Lifecare  building has been rejected…with a even more help for the AG! They’re going ahead…!!!

http://www.nojhlatpwv.com

“No JHL At PWV! is a coalition of Park West Village community stakeholders, nursing home advocates, parents, tenants’ associations, neighbors, renters, and condo owners who oppose Jewish Home Lifecare’s inappropriate proposed development on West 97th Street.”

Read more: 3/2/16 article:

http://forward.com/news/334807/takeover-of-non-profit-nursing-home-puts-200-jobs-at-risk/

An excerpt which also notes the state DOH blessings of licensure for menacing “operators” aka Sentosa-for one- who go about their real business: property development…with no oversight and the freedom to continue to harm the vulnerable.

“In July, SentosaCare, LLC agreed to purchase Jewish Home’s Bronx nursing home at 100 West Kingsbridge Road for $110 million.

SentosaCare, which owns the largest nursing home network in New York State, was the subject of an October 2015 investigative report by the public interest newsroom ProPublica, which found that nursing homes connected to SentosaCare “have a record of repeat fines, violations and complaints for deficient care.” The story questioned why SentosaCare had been allowed by the New York State Department of Health to continue purchasing nursing homes. SentosaCare defended is record to ProPublica, saying, among other things, that the firm had corrected problems at its facilities.

In September, SensotaCare transferred its interest in Jewish Home’s Bronx facility to a newly formed company called TCPRNC, LLC. That firm’s owners include nursing home industry executives Leopold Friedman and Esther Farkovits. Its not clear what relationship remains between SentosaCare and TCPRNC, LLC, or whether SentosaCare will have any role at the Bronx home. SentosaCare COO Bent Philipson did not respond to a request for comment.”

Link to a just published article and some excerpts:

City Sides With UWS Nursing Home Development Despite Lead Concerns

City Sides With UWS Nursing Home Development Despite Lead Concerns

April 7, 2016.

BY JACKSON CHEN

Mayor Bill de Blasio has now injected the city into a lengthy legal battle by coming down on the side of a nursing home development proposed for West 97th Street that has significant neighborhood opposition. Meanwhile, the state attorney general’s attempt to file a brief in the case, which came well past the deadline for responding to a trial court ruling, was promptly rejected by the court.

Jewish Home Lifecare has been trying to push forward with a 20-story nursing home adjacent to an elementary school and several housing complexes in the face of strong local criticism. After State Supreme Court Justice Joan Lobis ruled that the New York State Department of Health didn’t take a hard enough look at the hazardous materials and noise produced by the project, JHL and DOH were told to redo their environmental review.

Disagreeing with the court’s decision, JHL filed an appeal on February 22, while Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose office would typically defend state agency actions in court — in this case, arguing that DOH had in fact complied with New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) — failed to file a notice of appeal by a February 1 deadline. A later AG effort to file a brief in the case was rejected on the grounds of not being timely.

But JHL just won a hefty ally in the form of the City of New York, which filed an amicus brief on March 22 defending the integrity of the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR), whose standards the DOH applied in assessing the proposed development’s compliance with SEQRA.

According to the city’s brief, Lobis’ decision harms the consistency and standards of the CEQR process and would set a precedent that opens the door to untold numbers of challenges over environmental review on projects citywide.

Even as de Blasio signed on in support of JHL, other elected officials reiterated their opposition to the development near the school.

I am truly disappointed by Mayor de Blasio’s decision to file an amicus brief in support of the construction of JHL tower,” said City Councilmember Mark Levine. “The construction of a 20-story tower directly adjacent to P.S. 163 would pose an undeniable threat to the learning and well-being of more than 500 elementary school students.”

Levine has been pushing Intro 420, a bill that would restrict construction projects within 75 feet of classrooms to a noise level of 45 decibels — an amount that’s comparable to that created by light traffic or in a suburban neighborhood. His bill has already won support from West Side.

Congressmember Jerrold Nadler and Borough President Gale Brewer, who also expressed dismay about the mayor’s brief on behalf of JHL.

“Mayor de Blasio’s decision to file an amicus brief in support of this dangerous construction next to a school baffles me,” Brewer said. “The mayor is weighing in on behalf of an expensive private facility and against public school children.”

And while the city’s brief argues for protecting the standards of the CEQR Technical Manual, Marty Rosenblatt, a neighbor of the JHL site, said de Blasio knew of lead concerns at the site well before getting involved.

In 2012, after hearing news of JHL’s interest in the parking lot site across his home on West 97th Street, Rosenblatt hired a lead-testing expert and grabbed 100 samples from parking lots throughout the city. According to the testing results, the JHL site showed high amounts of lead, one reaching 3,850 parts per million. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has established 400 ppm as the limit for children’s play areas.

Just as unexplained as the city’s decision to defend its environmental review procedures for a site shown to have potentially dangerous levels of lead was the state attorney general’s failure to meet its February 1 deadline in the case.

According to a brief filed by the Attorney General’s Office on behalf of the DOH on March 22, the SEQRA review completed for the JHL development was sufficient in addressing both hazardous materials and noise.

The court, however, threw out the brief, finding that the attorney general, as representative for DOH, had an obligation as a respondent in the case to file an appeal by February 1. The AG’s Office has now filed a motion to be considered an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, to have its brief entered into the record.

Rene Kathawala, the attorney for the P.S. 163 parents who are scrambling to block the JHL project, said the AG’s motion is simply an attempt on the attorney general’s part to circumvent its exclusion from the case because of its failure to meet its deadline.

“They had the right to appeal and they chose not to for whatever reasons they have,” Kathawala said. “The brief got rejected and instead of putting their tail between their legs, they did something even more outrageous.”

Kathawala, who is himself a P.S. 163 parent, was equally disappointed in the mayor’s efforts that bolster JHL’s development plans.

“The mayor is supporting a project that a state judge has found will hurt children,” Kathawala said. “It’s wildly offensive and outrageous.”

He said that with legal motions now on record from JHL, the city, and the DOH, the case could go to court by June, though he predicted action could be delayed until as late as September.”

Finally… ‘Jobs for New York’ – slush fund for candidates who REBNY wanted in office…?

http://www.commoncause.org/states/new-york/issues/money-in-politics/moreland-commission/REBNY-Moreland-Monday-Release-PDF-Version.pdf

 

STELLAR MANAGEMENT & CHETRIT GROUP $25,000.00

“repositioning, reusing and redeveloping former health care facilities for residential use”

COBBLE HILL HEALTH& WELLNESS PARTNERS LLC:
            C/O/ CHETRIT GROUP    512 7TH AVE, NYC 10018
EXCERPT FROM CHETRIT LETTER:
            “Our confidence in making this offer is due to our substantial experience throughout New York City, specifically with respect to transactions with health care facilities. A particularly relevant example is Jewish Home Lifecare on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. We have undertaken a project that has successfully unlocked the real estate value of this vital senior citizen facility, giving Jewish Home a firm financial footing and a new, state of the art, sustainable complex.
We also were responsible for the residential conversion of the former Cabrini Hospital campus at 227 East 19th Street, which was very positively received by the local Communtiy Board and its elected officals. Our experience in repositioning, reusing and redeveloping former health care facilities for residential use is unmatched.                                                                        Currently, we are transforming the iconic City owned building at 49-51 Chambers Street from an outdated office building to an apartment building while preserving the landmark interior space at the lobby level. The Chetrit Group was selected for this project as a result of a City procurement process. We, better than any other development team understand the instructions of the RFP. We can and will achieve a similar excellent result in Cobble Hill: preserving and enhancing important community facilities while enriching the residential elements of a neighborhood.”

 And not to be outdone – POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS:

http://www.commoncause.org/states/new-york/research-and-reports/Common-Cause-NY-Profiles-of-the-Independent-Spenders.pdf

New Yorkers United Committee 

The largest donor was the Chetrit Group, a major real estate developer. Other donors were real estate investor Joseph Cayre, who gave $100,000, and Michael H. Steinhardt, a billionaire hedge fund manager and supporter of Jewish causes, who gave $46,050. Joseph Cayre was also a contributor to the Small Business Coalition. 15786.98 95822.11

Contributions to “New Yorkers United Committee” 

The largest donor was the Chetrit Group, a major real estate developer. Other donors were real estate investor Joseph Cayre, who gave $100,000, and Michael H. Steinhardt, a billionaire hedge fund manager and supporter of Jewish causes, who gave $46,050. Joseph Cayre was also a contributor to the Small Business Coalition. 15786.98 95822.11

Contributions to “New Yorkers United Committee”

  Contributor   Total Contribution    
    Contribution Details  
 
1 The Chetrit Group LLC $119,800 Single individual contribution