With De Blasio’s Worst Offenders also His Largest Donors, Landlords Are Likely Not Going to Be Held Accountable


De Blasio pitches plan to seize private property of problem landlords, opponents cry ‘communism’


Liberal New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is rolling out a new plan that would potentially allow the city government to seize buildings of landlords who force tenants out — a plan his opponents say amounts to “straight communism.”

De Blasio, in his State of the City address on Thursday, announced he wants to take action against landlords who try to force tenants out by making the property unliveable — and pulled out an executive order to create a Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants. He said that in the event the government intervenes, the buildings would then be controlled by a “community nonprofit.”

“When a landlord tries to push out a tenant by making their home unlivable, a team of inspectors and law enforcement agents will be on the ground to stop it in time,” he said, according to the New York Daily News. “If the fines and the penalties don’t cut it, we will seize their buildings and we will put them in the hands of a community nonprofit that will treat tenants with the respect they deserve.”

According to the mayor’s website, the city is “pursuing new local law to seize upwards of 40 of the most distressed multiple dwelling buildings annually and transition them to responsible, mission driven ownership.”

The city reportedly has gone easy on problem landlords in the past. The New York Times reported last year that officials have taken a “gentle hand with landlords who deprive tenants of basic services, declining to enforce the maximum penalties for even the worst offenders,” detailing how “neglected repairs” end up forcing tenants out.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it,” de Blasio said in a statement. “While the federal government works to gut health care for millions of Americans, New York City is leading the way by guaranteeing that every New Yorker has access to quality, comprehensive access to care, regardless of immigration status or their ability to pay.”

In an interview with New York Magazine in 2017, he also expressed a desire for much more government control in development and rents, and cited a “socialist impulse.”


“I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be,” he said. “Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents.”

On Sunday, he said in an interview that he wouldn’t rule out running for president in 2020, and urged the Democratic Party to take “bolder” positions similar to his own.

“There is still a lot of moderate voices in the party that did not learn the lessons of 2016 and are not listening to what people need in this country,” de Blasio said. “So I want to push this whole party, and I want to inform this debate in this country about the fact that we could go a lot further, we could be a lot bolder than what we’re doing now.”

Republicans, though, were disturbed by the extent of Hizzoner’s plan and charged the idea was more suited to communist dictatorships where land and property seizures are commonplace.

“My first reaction was: Is this communist Cuba?” state Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, who ran against De Blasio in the 2017 mayoral race, told Fox News. “ I can say that as a daughter of Cuban refugees who fled Castro’s Cuba in 1959, this is what happened to her family, she had her home taken, my grandfather had his gas station taken.”

“This is extreme even for Mayor de Blasio, because we know that he has socialist leanings, but this is straight communism and I think it’s very scary to America-loving, democracy-loving people.”

Malliotakis said the proposal was also hypocritical of the mayor, as she says the city runs some of the worst housing via the NYC Housing Authority. She also expressed some doubt as to how his plan to seize property would fare.

“Any attempt to seize property will face a court challenge and the mayor himself comes up with these ideas, throws stuff out there and doesn’t know how he intends to make it happen,” she said. “It’s all rhetoric.”

To read the article in its entirety click here.


Freebies as Friendship – Rechnitz and Reichberg – NYPD Confidential

NYPD Confidential - An Inside Look at the New York Police Department

Freebies As Friendship

January 7, 2019
The NYPD needs a new code of ethics, not just for cops but also for its top commanders and commissioners.
That’s the takeaway from the corruption trial that concluded last week with the acquittal of former NYPD Deputy Inspector Jimmy Grant and the conviction of a self-proclaimed Hasidic liaison with the department, Jeremy Reichberg.
The trial, which can best be described as “friendship and freebies,” has been an embarrassment for the NYPD. Guilty or not, how can anyone justify Grant’s private-plane junket to Las Vegas with a prostitute hired by Reichberg, the trip paid for by Reichberg’s pal, the feds’ singing canary Jona Rechnitz?
The feds charged that Grant accepted gifts from both Reichberg and Rechnitz; in exchange, the NYPD provided them with favors that included a helicopter flyover for a Reichberg boat party and help in obtaining gun permits. Defense attorneys argued those were merely favors among friends.
And if you naively believe such “friendships” were confined to the 66th Precinct in the heart of Brooklyn’s Hasidic community, remember that Rechnitz did some of his business out of the Chief of Department’s office and that a dozen chiefs and inspectors in different parts of the city were forced to retire after the feds alleged some of them had granted favors to corrupt individuals.
To be clear, this is not anything like the Knapp Commission scandal of the 1970s, when payoffs were systematically set up, right to the commissioner’s office. Rather, the Grant/Reichberg trial reveals lower-level corruption under the guise of “friendships.” Still, city rules prohibiting cops from accepting gifts of more than $50 seem simplistic. That’s why we need a new code of ethics.
Indeed, we only have to observe the behavior of the past four NYPD commissioners to see how the $50 rule was ignored.

Click here to read what the police brass say about NYPD Confidential




In the 1990s, during his first tour as commissioner, Bill Bratton accepted free plane trips to the Dominican Republic and Aspen, Colorado, from Wall Street mogul Henry Kravis. Then-Mayor Rudy Giulinai used those trips as an excuse to fire him because Rudy felt Bratton was stealing the spotlight from him for the city’s crime reductions.

Bratton’s successor, Howard Safir, was comped by the Revlon corporation’s CEO to an all-expense-paid trip for him and his wife to the Oscars. Result: the Conflicts of Interest Board [under some pressure from this column] fined him $7,100, the cost of the trip.

Click here to read the New York Times profile of Leonard Levitt




Safir’s successor, Bernie Kerik, accepted $165,000 in renovations to his Bronx apartment from people seeking a city contract. Kerik also received a luxury rental apartment from a realtor. He ended up in federal prison.

Ray Kelly received some $40,000 worth of dues and meals at the Harvard Club paid by the non-profit Police Foundation. When Bratton returned as commissioner under Mayor de Blasio, he demanded the same. Does anyone wonder why chiefs and inspectors saw nothing wrong with accepting freebies as friendship?

“The message has got to come from the top,” says Frank Serpico, who knows something about police corruption. “You can’t say, Do as I say, not as I do.”

Click here to read the Washington Post article on NYPD Confidential




Yet neither Commissioner Jim O’Neill nor Mayor de Blasio has addressed those issues. The mayor, who doesn’t want to be reminded that Rechnitz donated $100,000 to his 2013 election campaign, said he had “no reaction” to the trial. “I tuned out, honestly, because it had nothing to do with me,” he told reporters. O’Neill, who takes his cues from the mayor, has said virtually nothing.

“Love You Brother” -The de Blasio – Rechnitz Bromance…Going to the Knicks

jona rechnitz_crop_exact

Corrupt City Hall just got caught red-handed

A batch of previously undisclosed emails The Post revealed Tuesday offer strong new evidence Mayor Bill de Blasio intentionally evaded public-disclosure laws.

“Always stay in touch, but please do via this email or via cell rather than text,” de Blasio warns corrupt donor Jona Rechnitz in an email from his personal account. This and numerous other messages got left out of 286 pages of exchanges City Hall provided to comply with a court order, following the FOIL request.

City Hall claims it produced all the emails it had “in its possession,” meaning the newly found ones must have been deleted. It also has said it’s not required to keep all emails — though it now says it’s developing a new email-retention policy. That’s one way to handle being caught red-handed, we guess.

Here’s the thing: The latest emails, and others that emerged recently in the NYPD corruption trial, all put the lie to the mayor’s April 2016 claim that he and Rechnitz were “not particularly close.”

De Blasio was denying close links to a felon who admits he helped steer a quarter-million dollars to the mayor’s causes in exchange for political favors.

Yet the “new” emails show a relationship closer than that of many spouses: Over the course of more than two years, they corresponded often, with the mayor frequently calling Rechnitz “friend” and “mensch.”

“Jona, really enjoyed our mtg,” de Blasio writes in one email. In others, he repeatedly thanks him for info he acted on.

In still another that emerged earlier this month, de Blasio signs off, “Love you brother.”Some from Rechnitz show he offered the mayor Knicks tickets and once asked him to stop a top cop from quitting.

It defies belief that City Hall, facing a well-defined request, accidentally failed to provide the most embarrassing stuff — exchanges that highlight the blatant dishonesty of the mayor’s denials.

This was a coverup in blatant defiance of the court’s order.

To read the post in its original format click here.


Menahem Stark, Messages from the Grave – Shomrim and the Kidnapping… from the Rechnitz Files

Jona Rechnitz and Bill de Blasio

Undisclosed de Blasio emails show cozy relationship with corrupt donor


City Hall withheld nearly two dozen e-mails that show Mayor de Blasio had a much cozier relationship with Jona Rechnitz than he has admitted — even telling the crooked developer to reach out “anytime I can help,” The Post has learned.

De Blasio was corresponding with Rechnitz for more than two years, from late in his first campaign in October 2013 through February 2016, despite the mayor’s April 2016 claim that he and the admitted briber were “not particularly close,” the previously undisclosed e-mails show.

“Jona, really enjoyed our mtg,” de Blasio wrote on Oct. 4, 2013, following receipt of $36,700 in cash Rech­nitz had collected for him. “Call upon me anytime I can help. And thanks for your extraordinary assistance for my cause — means a lot to me.”

Other e-mails obtained by The Post show de Blasio calling Rechnitz “my friend,” “brother” and “a mensch” — Yiddish for “a person of integrity and honor.” One even reveals that he told Rechnitz to keep their communications discreet.

“And always stay in touch, but please do via this email or via cell rather than text,” de Blasio wrote from his personal e-mail account — deblasio@att.blackberry.net — on Oct. 2, 2014. “Much easier for me. Thanks again for all your help.”

The correspondences also reveal the usually thin-skinned mayor graciously accepting an apology from Rechnitz for an unexplained slight, writing, “No worries” during an exchange of e-mails on Dec. 3, 2013.

And when Rechnitz, now 36, wrote, “Thnx I only mean well and am young and learning,” de Blasio, 57, wrote back two minutes later, taking a fatherly tone as he said, “We are all learning . . .”

The 21 e-mails written by de Blasio were not produced by City Hall in response to a 2016 Freedom of Information Law request by The Post, even though officials turned over 286 pages of correspondence involving de Blasio, Rechnitz and Reichberg during 2014.

The newly discovered e-mails between de Blasio and Rechnitz also add to others that prosecutors unveiled last month in Manhattan federal court, where they were introduced as evidence against Reichberg and former NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant.

But the copies obtained by The Post this week include exchanges that were redacted in court papers, with some e-mails showing how de Blasio praised Rechnitz for advising him to attend an anti-crime CompStat meeting at NYPD Headquarters and later thanking him for the suggestion.

Another newly obtained e-mail shows de Blasio thanking Rechnitz for tipping him off that the private Jewish Shomrim security patrol knew about the 2014 kidnapping and slaying of Menachem “Max” Stark two hours before the NYPD did.

“That’s a real issue. Thanks for raising it,” de Blasio wrote on Jan. 4, 2014.

Records released by City Hall also show that de Blasio forwarded Rechnitz’s e-mail to then-Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and other officials.

Diamonds and Cops and Mistresses, Is this in the 613 Mitzvot? The Wives of These Men Deserve Better

Image result for pics of jona rechnitz and jeremy reichberg

Accused cop-briber courted mistress at NYPD headquarters

She likes cops’ private cell numbers, personal police escorts and long walks at NYPD headquarters.


The Brooklyn businessman accused of bribing cops used police favors to court his mistress, including a special tour of 1 Police Plaza, the woman testified Wednesday.

Tara Sheils said in Manhattan Federal Court that she met Jeremy Reichberg while working as a nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital in Sept. 2014. Reichberg was recovering from gallbladder surgery and she agreed to continue caring for him at his home in Borough Park.


She said she treated him for about six days and they began flirting. She recalled meeting NYPD cops who stopped by to check on Reichberg, including former Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and ex-Detective Michael Milici.

Harrington gave her his card at Reichberg’s request and wrote his cell number on the back, she said.


“In case I needed him for anything,” she said.


She believed the married Reichberg was a chaplain for the NYPD, though he actually wasn’t. He did obtain that title from both the Westchester and Floral Park Police Departments — so that he could obtain parking placards, according to testimony.

As the pair traded flirtatious texts, Reichberg got Sheils a ride in an unmarked police car to get her nails done on Church Ave., she said.

Reichberg texted her photos of him getting a police escort into a football game and invited her to attend a promotion ceremony for Milici, she said.


“I was invited to a promotions ceremony and basically had a tour,” she said. She visited an area where cops monitored surveillance cameras throughout the city, including in subways, she recalled.


She then met Harrington and then-Chief of Department Philip Banks in an office, she recalled.


“There was leftover sushi there,” she said.


Prosecutors and the defense did not question Sheils about a relationship with Reichberg, but previous paperwork in the case has indicated they had an affair. Both sides indicated out of earshot of the jury that they were keen to avoid delving into the issue.


“The evidence will show that Reichberg used his ability to secure favors from the police as a means of impressing Witness-1 and courting Witness-1 romantically,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Bell wrote.

To read the article in its entirety click here.

A Diamond in a Bottle – an Opinion re: compromised emails – Getting Some R&R

Messages in a bottle: Mayor de Blasio’s compromised emails

Messages in a bottle: Mayor de Blasio's compromised emails
Sharing a laugh with pals he says he doesn’t know. (Court Document)

Mayor de Blasio finds himself in painful a pinch as a corruption trial belches evidence of his unseemly ties.

Specifically, emails between the mayor and star witness and megadonor Jona Rechnitz, who is cooperating with federal prosecutors against his former partner in palm greasing, Jeremy Reichberg, and ex-NYPD bigwig James Grant, after pleading guilty to bribing the mayor and buying favors from the police.

Exhibit A: Messages harvested from Rechnitz’s email account oozing with passion between mayor and donor, including this 2014 Inauguration Day missive from the mayor: “Please call me tomorrow to setup a meeting for early next week. I need you to accept the position I offered you.

Love you brother.”

Or, we should say, maybe the mayor: As Reichberg’s lawyer reminded the judge, Rechnitz is notorious for doctoring emails to puff up his profile as a mover and shaker.

If only de Blasio took pains to preserve his emails, instead of asserting a broad right to instantly delete that’s wildly at odds with the public’s right to know, he might have a shot at proving Rechnitz missives phony as a three-dollar bill. Letting a crook tell your story rarely ends well.

As Sharp As Uncut Diamonds… The R&R – Impersonating Cops too?


De Blasio donor on trial for corruption mocked TSA agents for believing he was a cop

A de Blasio donor on trial for cop corruption was heard on tape Friday blasting airport security for believing he was an actual member of law enforcement after he flashed a police badge that the feds say he got via bribes.

The shocking call reveals self-described Brooklyn police liaison Jeremy Reichberg gloating over his success at tricking TSA agents into letting him skip the dreaded security line at an unspecified airport by showing off his police bling.

“I showed them my shield,” Reichberg said in the secretly recorded call with hedge-fund manager Murray Huberfeld, who pleaded guilty recently in a separate corruption case.

“I said, ‘I got to catch this 10:45 [flight], could they escort me,’ ” Reichberg said. “And they didn’t even screen me — these idiots, these fools. Fools!”

To read the remainder of the article click here.