Senate Democrats demand ethics reforms, proceed to get nowhere

 

Jan7 Hoylman

State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo courtesy of Senator Hoylman)

By Sabina Mollot

Last Monday at the Capitol, Senate Democrats including Manhattan East Side reps Brad Hoylman and Daniel Squadron announced that they were demanding ethics reforms including the closure of the LL Loophole. Another demand was to prohibit lawmakers from using campaign funds to cover attorney fees for investigations into allegedly criminal activity.

Squadron even announced, via press release, that he’d used a Motion for Committee Consideration to force a vote on the bill at Monday’s Senate Elections Committee.

However, by the day’s end, the effort went nowhere, or more specifically the reforms went into legislative limbo after getting “referred to committee,” by the Republican-controlled Senate, according to Hoylman.

Hoylman, who spoke with T&V later, explained that this is a typical stalling tactic, as opposed to refusing to vote on something outright.

“We’ll have to see if it’s a sincere effort to move it or stall it,” said Hoylman. Hoylman suspected the latter, adding, “You could argue they referred it to a black hole for future consideration. The real test will be if it comes to the floor for a vote.”

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City to check buildings owned by tenant ‘harasser’ for lead

Tenants protest outside a Toledano-owned building on East 13th Street last June. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Tenants protest outside a Toledano-owned building on East 13th Street last June. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The city will be investigating at least three residential buildings that are under construction for lead dust following a letter from local elected officials accusing the landlord, Raphael Toledano, of harassing tenants.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene previously took samples from 235 and 233 East Fifth Street and 514 East 12th Street managed by Brookhill Properties, the company owned by Toledano, and found that the concentrations of lead dust far exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s hazard standard, with the lead concentration as high as 15 times what is legally allowed in the building at 233 East Fifth Street.

Local elected officials, including State Senator Brad Hoylman, Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, signed the letter urging Toledano to meet with tenants to resolve their concerns and conduct lead testing of all 24 properties owned by Toledano, all of which are in the East Village or the Lower East Side, and a letter to the DOHMH urging the agency to take action.

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