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Lobby Displays at Sunnyside Condo Must be Removed, Property Manager Must Resign, Human Rights Commission Says

Outside the entrance of 47-55 39th Place

Feb. 16, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

The lobby display at a Sunnyside condominium that was the focus of an investigation by the NYC Commission on Human Rights will be no more under a settlement with the building’s board announced today.

The agency’s settlement, after a months-long investigation into complaints of tenant harassment and discrimination at 47-55 39th Pl., requires the current displays depicting “Nazi and Confederate imagery, swastikas, and hate symbols” and other offensive materials in the lobby to be removed.

Neal Milano, the notorious board member credited with posting the display, and who tenants say harassed and intimidated them, will also have to resign as part of the settlement.

Images of the Civil War and of President Donald Trump inside 47-55 39th Place

The commission’s investigation revealed a series of shocking allegations made by tenants against Milano. One tenant, for example, told the agency that Milano left her a voicemail claiming to be Adolf Hitler, and said “the grandmaster of the KKK is coming to the lobby.”

The same tenant alleged that when she tried to rent her unit to a Latina woman, Milano responded with, “She’s Spanish. They are low lives and don’t pay the rent.”

World War II banner showing an image of Hitler.

The condo’s “House Rules” will also undergo several changes as a result of the investigation. An illegal provision requiring renters to provide a passport or residency card will be removed, and a blanket “no pets” policy will be updated to include language about accommodating tenants with disabilities.

The commission noted that tenants and condo owners can file their own complaints to the agency, as only the commission’s claims were settled.

Two other board members will also resign following the settlement, and the new board will have to notify the commission of annual meetings for the next two years.

“This kind of behavior is disgusting and unacceptable. People were terrified,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “I am happy to see this resolved and to know that the residents will no longer have to live in fear and can feel safe in our community.”

Sapna V. Raj, assistant commissioner for the Law Enforcement Bureau at CHR, hopes the settlement sends a strong message to housing providers that the city does not tolerate harassment or discrimination.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s office, which is currently investigating potential civil rights violations and financial misconduct at the condo, said they are encouraged by the CHR’s settlement.

Outside of the settlement, Milano is also accused of harassment and stalking, a case currently going through the Queens Criminal Court. A separate lawsuit filed by the owners of two units at the building is also ongoing.

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45 Comments

Tom

I think it’s a disgrace that in our country is it called offensive to have a picture of our president,whom was democratically elected .all the other photos were flags of countries who were in wars and a picture of uncle Sam out front .what’s so offensive.when is this political correct nonsense going to stop .




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Darla

“I think it’s a disgrace that in our country is it called offensive to have a picture of our president,whom was democratically elected”
Replace WHOM with RUSSIA 😉

Whats so offensive? The Nazi bullshit. The stalking of tenants. The (illegal) demand to see the passports of tenants. The aggressive right-wing propaganda WHICH IS ROOTED IN RACISM, XENOPHOBIA, AND MISOGYNY. You’re an ignorant fuck, go get an education instead of hovering over this site.




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[email protected]

All of which you mentioned are only allegations ,no proof had been shown.what has Russia got to do with this ?.if that’s what you call an education U have a Mouth like a truck driver.




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Anonymous

Neal should file suit under the Visual Artists Rights Act. Judge Block can get him a few million at the very least.




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Darla

You’re an idiot. Thats not how that act works at all. Only art that is considered significant is protected. Also, this is not art. This is propaganda.

Nice try, though.




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Anonymous

its amazing that these people walk theu the lobby every day and do nothing, I and any other normal person would tear the sh-t down.
These residents and owners in this place are not normal.




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Marie

This guy tried to get the 4755 Condo board to kick me out of this building in 2012 for having a friend who was African American. He monitored our comings and goings. I finally moved out in 2013.




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Elmo Lewis

If you have seen the building (I have), nothing has been distorted. He is a sick man and no one should have to put up with his bizarre fantasies.




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Anonymous

The NYC Commission on Human Rights does not have the power to jail yet. Give it time. Who needs courts when we have this kangaroo court.




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El loco

I thought Neil did a great job and loved the history that he displayed in the lobby. Most people like it but are afraid to say so because they want to be politically correct but history is history. Wether you think it’s appropriate or not. That’s your opinion, but it’s a display of our historic past to present. If it was so bad it would have been taken down right away. Its Neal the people don’t like because he’s loud but the display was nice. Hateful ? I don’t think so. It’s history. Goodbye Neil, and thank you.




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Sorry to Disappoint You

This is not this moron’s private home and posting anything like that in what is actually a public common area was completely inappropriate. In addition to the inside, those absurd gates outside with the lights make the building look like a very cheap bordello.




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SAL

I agree with el loco. Neil had some good points. It would have been better if he included all important moments in history, not just so called horrific events ,but some happy memories from the past. I don’t understand something though, if he had displayed the injustices that were done to Italians, nobody would have said a word. To you think the jvb would have made this stand? No way. In this case Italian surnames don’t make headlines.




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BKS40

While Neil is obviously a whack job and may or may not be a racist, the news media has done the public a disservice by distorting certain facts. The local TV news as well as the newspapers have harped on the images of Hitler, swastikas, and Confederate flags as proof of his racism. The banner shown has the flags and leaders of both the Allies and Axix powers that fought WWII. While a bizarre and inappropriate way to decorate a building’s lobby, not necessarily racist.
I am not a Trump supporter and believe his attacks on the news media are a danger to our democracy. When the news media distort the facts to sensationalize a story, it feeds into the claims of fake news. This is just one example of many stories that bend the truth as clickbait. The media need to do a better job.




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ann

All media reported the same story. Exactly what do you think was ‘sensationalized’? The condo manager was not running a historical museum. Posters of Hitler, KKK, etc., plus his threats to tenants, make his perspective abundantly clear.




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Anonymous

Tennant’s are just afraid the prices of the units will drop. If Neil stayed, the building would be in more demand than it is now. It is unique. People know the building will get good tennants. He weeds out the bad element. Good solid citizens. I live in the building and I got along with Neal just fine. People don’t understand, if you do what your supposed to do, you wouldn’t have problems with the management




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David

Hahha, you must be kidding? “harped on images of hitler and swastikas” … Yea, they should just let that slide. It’s history right? What better place for a shrine to some of the ugliest moments in history than the lobby of a residential building? Racist or not, it deserved the attention, and it truly was *literally* sensational, regardless of which elements they zeroed in on. You can’t look at all this stuff and think “hmm, what’s the objective way to explain this situation of a lunatic building manager. Sure, he harassed tenants, but let’s give him a fair shake!”

What’s the truth that’s missing?




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Patrick

The image of Pocahontas being lynched is another fine historical non-reactive moment in time.
I’ve lived across the street from this lunatic for 7 years now, and he’s made life in this neighborhood hellish.
I can’t imagine what it has been like to live in that building.




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BKS40

My comment was in no way a defense of Neil. From what has been reported, his behavior was reprehensible. Not do I think it is appropriate for a building manager to decorate the building lobby with historical displays irregardless of content. My problem is the misrepresentation of the Nazi and Confederate symbols. The news media should have led with his harassment of tentants and megalomaniac reign of terror.




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Fan of doughboy park

I see, you’re worried swatiskas and Confederate flag are being attributed to racism. You’ve officially list the plot mate




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BKS40

No. I am worried that the Fourth Estate is not living up to its responsibility to report the news accurately. Legitimate sources of news should be more concerned with getting it right than clickbait.
The banners on which those symbols appeared were not in and of themselves racist.




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Fan of doughboy park

“There’s good people on both sides”

Which part of the story do you feel is not being represented accurately? He threatened, bullied and harassed tenants. He plastered the lobby with his homegrown history lessons full of hate symbols and listed Nazi war criminals in the directory. This guy is obviously on drugs, mentally ill, racist and needs help.




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Wolfsbane

How is Trump’s attacks on the news media are a danger to our democracy? He not using the power of his office to do so. Which he easily could. Instead he’s personally standing up to them with social media posts. He showing how ridiculous they are by lampooning them. It’s hilarious. People should have been doing so decades ago.




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BKS40

The office if not the man carries weight. If the President consistently perpetuates falsehoods and consistently undermines the free press it does effect the trust people have in legitimate news sources. A relatively objective press is essential to democracy. It may never be perfect but it is better than what you will find in authorization regimes around the world.




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