Newsbriefs- 1st Quarter 2002


Rent Wars (Rentwars)

Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 06:19 pm
This is a roundup and summary of some of the news stories of interest our viewers:

Tax Assessor 18Bill Scam
One of Rent Wars main themes has been that the Slumlords are above the law, including tax law. In the stories below the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District comes down on a venerable tax scam that has cost the city billions. But the question is, will the USA only nail a few penny ante' civil servants, or will the law apply to the mega-Slumlords that benefited the most from the scam? Also of note, Steven Green, brother of former mayoral candidate and Public Advocate, Mark Green, was implicated in the scam.
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/26/nyregion/26BRIB.html
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/krnewyork/20020227/lo/a_record_160m_tax_ripoff_1.html
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/xnyap/20020226/lo/tax_assessors_charged_1.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/04/nyregion/04TAX.html

Eviction by Assassination
The conviction of Louis Hubrecht, 67, a multimillionaire landlord charged with murdering a tenant to empty a rent controlled apartment. This conviction marks a rare enforcement of the law against a Slumlord for criminal acts against a tenant. Unfortunately, despite press interest in the story, the Manhattan DA's office has no press release available about their successful prosecution of the case.
http://www.nypost.com/seven/03092002/news/regionalnews/11916.htm


City pays $3000 for $200 Apartments
Once again our local government burns tax money to enrich Slumlords.
http://citylimits.org/content/articles/articleView.cfm?articlenumber=777

Brooklyn Court Corruption Probe
A massive corruption scandal is brewing in the Kings County courthouses. Suspiciously, the probe conveniently avoids the festering cesspool of corruption that is the Housing Court.
Archive abstract- Top Judge "We'll Fix Courts"
Archive abstract- Patronage Rapped 12 referred to disciplinary panel
Archive abstract- Brooklyn Judge Arrested

Buildings Crumble, Owners Dance
The title says it all.
http://villagevoice.com/alertrd.php3?article=33035

NYCHA Amnesty
Andrew Friedman reports that the New York City Housing Authority is offering amnesty to under-paying tenants who come clean.
http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0205/friedman.php

HUD Scam
Housing and Urban Development scam hits home.
http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0203/friedman.php

Homelessness Up Amongst Working
Homelessness is affecting a new wave of victims- educated, working, but still unable to afford housing in the overpriced market caused by the Slumlords. "I went from painting a shelter to being in one."
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/18/national/18HOME.html

Weakest Link Judge Censured
Criminal Court Judge Donna Recant was cesured - the toughest sanction against a jurist short of removal from the bench. This was announced by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct.
Says the commission, "The record depicts a judge who, in numerous cases in 1998 and 1999, mistreated both defendants and attorneys, abused her judicial powers, and ignored proper legal procedure."
Recant is said to have abruptly dismissed a Legal Aid Society defense lawyer's objection with an Ann Robinson-like, "You are done. Case Over. Bye-bye." When the lawyer said she had a right to be heard for the record, the judge replied, "No you don't. Goodbye. It is my courtroom and I rule as I see fit."