From the NY Post:
The religious leader behind the proposed mosque near Ground Zero has been slapped with a lawsuit in Union City, NJ, where officials have accused him of ignoring dozens of violations at two rundown apartment buildings he owns.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's buildings, with a total of 48 apartments, have been the targets of more than 30 health and safety complaints, among them mold, uncollected garbage, bedbugs, odors, dirty hallways and a lack of heat, the lawsuit says.
One of the buildings has been boarded up by Rauf since a blaze on Feb. 8, 2008, that broke out after Union City had issued a dozen fire-code violations there.
"He's a terrible landlord who's unresponsive to the residents who live in his building," Mark Albiez, a spokesman for Union City Mayor Brian Stack, told The Star-Ledger of New Jersey, which first reported the lawsuit.
A New Jersey judge has demanded that the imam who wants to build a mosque near Ground Zero produce documents proving he is fixing numerous alleged problems at two apartment buildings he owns in northern New Jersey.
State Superior Court Judge Thomas Olivieri told a lawyer for Feisal Abdul Rauf to submit the documents by Thursday afternoon.
Olivieri chastised Rauf’s lawyer for being unprepared and failing to produce documents to prove work was being done to fix the apartment problems, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.
Attorney Tomas Espinosa told the judge Wednesday that some work is under way at the buildings.
“The legal process will show that my client is an honorable man,” Espinosa said.
Rauf did not attend the hearing and his attorney said the imam made the decision because he has been under stress due to the Ground Zero mosque controversy.
From the Daily News:
The developer of the Ground Zero mosque is being bounced from his SoHo office, the Daily News has learned.
Sharif El-Gamal, who runs the real estate firm Soho Properties and is heading the project two blocks from Ground Zero, was slapped with eviction proceedings last month after tallying up $39,000 in back rent, a Manhattan Housing Court filing shows.
The management company that runs 552 Broadway, where El-Gamal leases space, said in the filing that he was warned in July and given until mid-August to pay up.
But when the August deadline passed, management company Royal Crospin Corp. filed the eviction notice.
It's not the first time El-Gamal's company has fallen behind in rent.
Royal Crospin sued Soho Properties last year for nearly $89,000 in back rent. El-Gamal's firm paid $56,000 to settle.
Even before eviction proceedings began, El-Gamal's lease was to expire this Oct. 31.
Soho Properties said it has had a number of problems with the leased space, but expects to settle out of court.