Jan. 12, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
The lawyer representing Neal Milano, a Sunnyside property manager who made headlines in August for allegedly harassing building tenants and decorating the lobby with images of Hitler and the Confederacy, said he and the rest of the current board members will not be running in the upcoming board elections for the condo.
“To avoid wasting further vital building resources fighting over mischaracterized artwork (that is historical in nature) and fending off demonstrably false and disturbing claims, the current board members have agreed not to run in the upcoming election,” said Jacob Laufer, who represents Milano and four other current board members.
The statement comes as NY1 News reported that the NYC Commission on Human Rights is close to wrapping up its investigation into tenant harassment and discrimination at the building, located at 47-55 39th Pl. The news outlet also said that Milano will not be eligible to run in the upcoming board elections.
The NYC Commission on Human Rights, however, said it is still conducting its investigation and that it is not commenting on ongoing matters. The agency added that it will be represented at the election scheduled to take place at the condo mid February.
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said the current board’s “removal” is a victory for residents of the building.
“Hatred and bigotry have no home in #Sunnyside!” Van Bramer wrote on Facebook. “With the removal of this condo board, residents of this building can start to reclaim their sense of peace and security.”
News of the alleged ongoings at the building, including its elaborate lobby decor with images of Hitler, Mussolini, and the Confederacy, and bullying towards tenants, broke back in August. A lawsuit put forth by the owners of a unit in the building was also publicized at that time, and alleges a history of vindictive practices and arbitrary fees by the board, with Milano listed as the main instigator.
Lynn Calvacca, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said the lawsuit is still pending.
The building is also under investigation by the state office of the Attorney General for tenant harassment and other potential misconduct. A spokesperson for the office said work toward the case is ongoing. “We are also working with the NYC Human Rights Commission on the issues related to the building’s board of directors,” the Attorney General’s office said.
Milano alone is also accused of harassment and stalking, a case currently going through the Queens Criminal Court. He is due back in court next week.