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Woodside slumlord arrested for bribing building inspector, officials say

Dec. 15, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan

A Woodside building owner was arrested for trying to bribe a building inspector to overlook several violations and could face up to seven years in prison, the Department of Investigations announced yesterday.

Susana Escobar Cardena, 65, was arrested on Monday for having occupants in several illegally converted rooms at her two family residence at 62-17 39 Avenue, and then attempting to bribe an inspector to overlook the violations, rather than vacating the property.

“This arrest exemplifies how bribery and corruption gravely undercut New Yorkers’ safety; in this case, creating seriously dangerous conditions, according to the complaint. Working with the City Department of Buildings, we successfully stopped the illegal conduct that could have had perilous results,” said DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters.

According to the criminal complaint, the DOB ordered the premises to be vacated in March after discovering three occupied illegal single-occupancy rooms.

During a follow up inspection, the investigator found the defendant on the property, and the three illegal rooms occupied. The defendant said she had nowhere else to live and the investigator offered to call the Red Cross to find her a shelter.

When the investigator asked for Cardena’s identification, she asked him to help her out and handed him $200 in cash. He told her it was not proper, and put the money on a table in the house.

After telling a colleague what had happened, the investigator went back in to the building and recorded a conversation with Cardena when she again handed him $200 to look past the dangerous conditions in the building.

The DOI and DOB vacated the property on Monday and relocated the five occupants of the building.

Cardena was arrested on Monday and arraigned on Tuesday in Queens Criminal Court, charged with Bribery in the Third Degree, a class D felony, and Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor.

If convicted, a class D felony is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year’s incarceration.

Cardena is due back in court on February 9.

email the author: news@queenspost.com

24 Comments

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Elba

Sadly these sort of things have been going on for years and the DOB seems to look the other way, thank God for this one that was honest. I walk around my neighborhood and I see construction without permits posted going on, too many people living where maybe only 6 should be allowed, illegal daycare, driveways etc. And why bother complaint nobody listens and this is why these new House owners get away with murder.

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Gloria hernandez 62st

I know this lady, well not a lady, slumlord. She should be ashamed, but she wont be. She has no shame

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Anthony stabile

This con artist probably bought the house for nothing years ago and people cry its hard to make ends meet with todays prices of real estate. Please stop with the pc, the ladys a crook, stop with the sugarcoating and call it as you see it, a crook is a crook. Preying on her own kind no doubt

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Luis

Obviously phil knows nothing about private unions or city unions. Not surprising though most of his comments are short sighted.

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Crystal Wolfe

It’s about time the landlords and elite real estate in NYC who are harming so many millions of people paid the pied piper for their crimes and see some jail time! WTG for publishing this article Sunnyside Post!

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ANNOYED

There are EIGHT single room occupancy homes on 56th Street between Roosevelt and Queens Blvd. Law obeying landlords have complained for YEARS. One illegal building has an eight foot high chain link fence around it. To keep people in or out? With the cost of property taxes, how can honest landlords compete? These landlords are making a fortune while causing crowding, lack of parking, dangerous situations, etc. When will it stop?? When will our elected officials do something? Maybe THEY are being bribed. Don’t see this going on where THEY live.

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Phil

All these unionized city workers raising the cost of bribes beyond what an honest entrepreneur can afford smh

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Anonymous

Ann i wonder if the inspector would have been as honest if he was offered $5000 instead of a measly $200. I mean really $200 is a joke. I live in the woodside/sunnyside boarder and every house on the block does this.

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ann

Thanks to the honest inspector. Removing unsafe housing and investigating violations is important work.

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Thank you for ruining our neighborhood

Lowlife. Ha, her big $200. She probably gets $150 a week per room. I agree people like this ruin neighborhoods

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Rob evans

I have several house where I live in BELLEROSE they have converted basement they rent out.i have made a number of complaints.if an inspector comes around they don’t let them. What a waste of tax payer money .they collect rent an pay no TAXES.
.

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Anonymous

That is pitiful. People are so desperate for an affordable place to live but it can’t be done in that way. Were they actually rooms in the house or little partitioned places that would make it a fire hazard? The city brought this on with the rezoning plan. That made everyone really desperate.

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Anonymous

I have a decent job, but I still can’t afford an apartment! Right at this moment, I feel as though I’m homeless, because of my living situation. Landlords are making it even more difficult, because of super high rent!

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homeowner 101

Blame the government for increasing property taxes every year and don’t forget the water rates are also a pain. Higher expenses=higher rents

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Chip

It’s about time the DOB does something to these slum lords. They need to go down 39th Ave between 51&52 and they will have a field day with all the illegal apartments and than should call immigration on all the immigrants living in those houses.
Keep up the good work boys.

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Paddy wack

There’s also plenty of illegal Irish immigrants living in Woodside 54th street and 39th ave and all over sunnyside.lets not forget them Chip!

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