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Human Rights Commission opens investigation into tenant harassment, discrimination in Sunnyside condo building

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer joined by the NYC Commission on Human Rights.

August 29, by Nathaly Pesantez

The NYC Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) announced today that they have launched an investigation into tenant harassment and discrimination at the Sunnyside condo building known for its elaborate lobby decor that includes images of Hitler and the Confederacy and allegations of harassment against its property manager.

The Human Rights Commission was joined by Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and members from the mayor’s office in the plaza under the 46 St station in Sunnyside for the announcement, blocks away from the building at 47-55 39th Place.

Hollis Pfitsch from the Human Rights Commission said the investigation was prompted by the Nazi and Confederate symbols on display in the lobby coupled with an alleged “pattern of threatening and harassing behavior” on behalf of Neal Milano, the property manager of the building, toward residents.

The CCHR also said that the investigation is currently in its interviewing phase, where it will attempt to gather more information from tenants and look for people to step forward and file formal complaints regarding tenant harassment and discrimination within the Sunnyside building with their office.

Part of the commission’s investigation will determine if and how the images in the lobby have been used in connection to the alleged behavior of Milano toward tenants, Pfitsch said.

“Those acts, the images and the harassment, are clearly acts of hatred and meant to intimidate the people of the building,” Van Bramer said at the event. “We reject what he has done in that building.”

Van Bramer relayed to reporters at the event the conversations he had with tenants of the building, who allege that Milano has subjected them to hefty, arbitrary fines, and who allegedly have had to endure intrusive notices shared around the building about their personal lives.

The Human Rights Commission also announced a “Day of Action”, where flyers would be handed out across Sunnyside today with information on tenants’ rights and what to do if one is experiencing harassment or discrimination by their landlord.

The investigation follows a lawsuit filed in April by Lynn Calvacca, an owner of a condo in the Sunnyside building, against the condo board, with a particular focus on Neal Milano as the alleged “instigator” of the list of allegations in the suit.

If the CCHR investigation discovers and substantiates any criminal allegations against Milano, he could potentially face arrest, Van Bramer said.

Pfitsch added that if civil penalties are issued, the office can recover emotional distress damages to victims, and can fine violators with up to $250,000 for willful and malicious violations of the law.

The World War II banner that featured an image of Hitler was taken down by an activist.

Since news of the lobby and allegations of harassment against Milano broke, the World War II banner showing an image of Hitler was taken down by an activist, according to DNA Info.

33 Comments

El loco

Gee, let’s waste some more resources in this clown. Just take down the posters, throw him out and move on.




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Anonymous

Jvb is grandstanding because its something he’s against. If it didn’t ” ruffle his little feathers” he wouldn’t be bothered. You go ahead and keep believing he cares. I’m voting against him we need a fresh face.




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Neziah Bliss

Sunnyside Post commenters can trash JVB all they want, but they can’t deny that he brings a spotlight to things like this and is truly effective. I applaud JVB is standing up to Milano and taking the proper action.




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Sunnyside Truther

The condo owner or whatever he is looks like a crazy a-hole no arguments there. Who knows what the years of background is on this but it seems that almost irrelevant and our savior JVB has miraculously stepped in. Speaking of which he’s also another media hog. Does nothing about the issues at the rainbow playground just blocks away where drunks sleep, defecate, etc all the time. So let’s not pretend he’s some stand up guy here. Much bigger quality of life issues in the neighborhood.




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An Astoria mom

Like many avid SunnysidePost readers, I found the avalanche of accounts about this situation incredible and alarming-& thankful for the comic relief comments.But something about those videos made me break down and cry.(Been playing sad songs from the 70s ever since,lol).This guy looks like the onetime ” eccentric relative” who got much much worse over the years.What a painful reminder how frustrating or even impossible it can be for acquaintances or.family- if any- to ” rein in” a troubled or troublesome loved one. Next, it becomes a public spectacle of news crews& cameras converging on an apt building, scanning the area like tourists,& the life & rantings of a person broadcast in detail.” Where’s the family?”, some may ask.As far away as possible,in some cases,& who can blame them? As for.a daughter/ grandkids mentioned,they may be just as helpless as anyone else at this point. Sounds like some people did what they could here. It’s just too bad it had to come down to all of this..You weep for all people ,including kids& elderly, who.are.or were voluntarily or involuntarily dealing with their own”Neal Milano lite”.I hope all people in the building and area will continue to help each other and the families involved,even in small ways.Kids will remember that, too,even decades later.#1: Stay safe all, especially now. God bless.




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Anonymous

No Neal, the jerk who trespassed and bragged about it. Nice security in this building, this clown and Sunnyside lady who snuck in the building. This is why this guy had no right to do this. Now anybody can sneak in. Very bad. All he did, and this ss woman did was expose how easy it is to get in our property. Yes ,this is a big problem.




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Rich

Taken down by an activist????? This guy is an attention seeker. He doesn’t live here and for him to go on the property is tresspassing




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Oil Beef hooked

This is what you stand up against? A guy who rips down swastikas? You’ve lost the plot, mate.




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Robert E

A lot of these units are probably rented out by the people who own them . All the owners care about is the rent. The tennants don’t care about anything but complaining they pay too much so that is why nothing was ever brought to the attention of the building owner. Bunch of lame assholes. They all deserve milano and his ways. Now they will all be screaming for damages for mental distress and they dont deserve shit.




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Chloe

Please stop posting your nonsense under different names!! Your spelling mistakes of the word tenant gives you away.




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Bart Stone

This is a cautionary tale. Its all too common to have most unit owners completely disengaged from a condo’s management – nobody cares or wants to be bothered with this stuff and you dont get paid to be on your condo board. But it’s like weeding a garden or going to the dentist, its got to be tended to or you can get a disaster. These unit owners are going to be paying way higher common charges to clean up this mess and to pay all the legal fees that will go with it. If they paid attention and participated in their board/management, they would have never allowed a fool like Milano to put the building in such a terrible spot.




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Tahur

Brother Bart, you have no idea what goes on in this building. The building used to be surrounded with bushes (look up an old picture of 47-55 39th Place)Neal Milano is responsible for that disgusting China made fence that surrounds the building, he also gets kickbacks for any work the goes on in the building. Neal Milano came to our building after being kicked out of a nearby property he used to live in (hence the video of him posting Trump stickers while wearing a Trump mask – he had an old key to that building which allowed him access). Want to know what else he’s done, he and the current board members conspired to fire the management company (read it in Calvacca’s complaint) and now all the hoa fees go directly to the board (which operate with only a PO box so they can’t get served with process). This means all the money goes to Neal and his daughter Barbara. It’s no wonder why Neal and Barbara , who don’t have jobs, go to Thailand 3 times a year for 6 or more weeks at a time, Where does Neal get this money?? Their only job is to harass tenants, fine unit owners (more money for them) and make life miserable for everyone on 39th place. There are Trump stickers posted on doors of anyone who questions him, there are daily notices sandwiched on doors and the newly approved (fake) board rules are usually taped over tenant’s peep holes. If you lived in this building you would read (everyday) the notices he puts on our doors accusing the renters of everything that happens in the building. I filled up a binder with all the bullshit, poorly written garbage that this thug writes about. The unit owner don’t care because they rent their units, the few unit owners that do live in the building want out but it’s hard to sell your unit when Neal Milano has to approve your application, he is a racist bully.




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Bart Stone

Tahur,

Ive got no beef with the tenants and feel bad that they have to put up with this nonsense. I totally agree that its wrong! But as you mentioned, the unit owners are mostly absentee landlords who let a rougue board take over their building and appoint a lunatic to run the place. Thats on the owners for abdicating their responsibility to run their own building. They are going to pay a big price bc their common charges are going to skyrocket and their property values are ruined. Thats what i was driving at. The owners blew off caring for the place and let this jerk terrorize and plunder their building.




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Sally cheech

The tennants are a bunch of unorganized wussies. They could have nipped this in the bud and got rid of this joker if they actually lived there. The problem I see is they rent the apartment out and only card about the money. Now they are shocked…. horrified… terrorized. This didn’t happen over night. Grow up, get organized, and revolt. Take your building back. This guy is an ant. Very easy to replace. It’s your fault owner, for letting this guy do this.




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tootsietooters

WHat do you think they’re doing now? They’ve organized to get rid of him.




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Sunnyside_Lady

I have no idea how you guys have lived with this for so many years. I “snuck” into to see this crazy building probably 4 years ago and it was a piece of work back then. I mean, terrifying. I had a hard time believing it was a CONDO building. I mean, who wants to run a building like that? Who would want to BUY in a building like that? It’s literally throwing away everyone’s investment.




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Anonymous

August 29, by Nathaly Pesantez
DEA agents and New York State Police conducted a drug raid at a LIC luxury tower Tuesday morning, where two people were arrested and charged in connection to alleged drug distributing activities.

The raid was conducted at the high-rise on 45-41 Center Boulevard after a search warrant was executed at 6:00 am Tuesday morning, according to police sources. DEA agents and New York State Police raided an apartment on the fourth floor of the building.

Brian Parker, a 34-year-old man from Long Island City, and Victoria Koleski, a 29-year-old woman from Farmingdale, New Jersey, were arrested and charged with conspiring to distribute controlled substance analogues, along with distributing and possessing with intent. The controlled substances in question include U-47700, a strong opiod, A-PHP, a synthetic stimulant, and 3-MEO-PCP, a dissociative drug. This is where JVB should be at the moment — this is where his territory is also — he just loves long island city —




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Patty

Anonymous – Nobody can be everywhere, well except for a jerk who sits and posts anonymously to a community blog all day and honestly believes he is going to determine the out come of an election doing this. You’re absurd.




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Oscar

Condo owners call a meeting,fire board, elect new board and fire super and clean the lobby of all the offensive material.no need for all the media attention that JVB loves.JVB solve homeless problem in park two blocks away where guys treat it as an outdoor bar and toilet, fix surrounding streets and install some garbage cans (there are none around here for some reason)Remove tire fixing store that operates on sidewalk and is located in a residential building on 47 ave(if a fire broke out the fumes would kill everyone)but JVB does not fix local problems because he’s too busy trying to get on camera




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Super super

Why would you fire the super? Although building is very tacky to say the least, it does look pretty clean.




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David

The same thing happened here in sunnyhill a couple years ago the super and his girlfriend were embezzling money with the president of the board and over night they got rid of the board except a member insisted on staying on as an advisor so he could report back to his old crew what the new board was planning.
It can be done you people need to grow a set and just do it.
JVB wants the attention to make you believe he’s a miracle man because it’s reelection time, just clean your own house don’t wait on the city to do it. Or you’ll be waiting forever.




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Manny Cuevas

Jeff Orlick, who I will call a good samaritan, admitted to taking these ridiculous posters down. If Neal Milano was an honest man, perhaps a historian I would believe his intentions were patriotic but the evidence shows he was nothing less than a racist bully. Btw, Jeff Orlick admitted to removing these posters, so before cops go looking at video surveillance of such act, I would like to direct the Police and the FBI to look at the video surveillance from August 5th, 2017. This was the day two mailboxes (not surprising, one of the units is owned by Jerry Iannece and Lynn Calvacca), were destroyed by a criminal animal aka Neal Milano. These two mailboxes happen to belong to two units Neal the Nazi Milano had written nasty letters about, both of these units are rentals and both tenants filed complaints with the USA Postal Office. 108th Precinct and FBI, on August 5 Neal Milano committed a federal crime by destroying mailboxes, DO NOT LET HIM TELL you the video cameras were off, before you look into the taking down of these NAZI poster, please look into the destroying of federal property, PEACE!




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