City will investigate property manager who decorated condo lobby with Nazi and other fascist regalia. On August 29, 2017, the City’s Commission on Human Rights announced that it had launched an investigation into the claims of tenant harassment at 47-55 39th Place in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Queens. The investigation stems from the display of Nazi and Confederate imagery, swastikas and other hate symbols in the lobby. Tenants, condo owners and Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer have all alleged tenant harassment by the manager, Neal Milano, in connection to the offensive displays in the common area lobby. The lobby is also plastered with hyper-patriotic posters supporting Trump and the NRA. Other posters include, but are not limited to, Lincoln, Mount Rushmore, and Uncle Sam.
In New York it is illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants by creating a hostile environment of harassment based on race, immigration status and other protected classes. The Commission has the authority to investigate violations of the law, and fine violators with up to $250,000 in civil penalties for willful and malicious violations.
“Discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated in New York City and the NYC Commission on Human Rights is cracking down on anyone who thinks they are above the Law,” said Deputy Commissioner of the Law Enforcement Bureau at the NYC Commission on Human Rights Hollis V. Pfitsch.
“The tenants of this Sunnyside condominium have been terrorized at the hands of this property manager for far too long,” said Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “After speaking with the Commissioner on behalf of the tenants and condominium owners, I’m pleased that Commission on Human Rights has decided to open an investigation into this condominium board member and property manager after tenants reported constant intimidation, harassment, and retaliation. Clearly, their rights are being violated. And with the announcement of this investigation today, we send a strong message that we uphold and defend the rights of tenants in New York City.”
By: Jonathon Sizemore (Jonathon is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2016).