Sunday, September 12, 2010
Swastika vandalism plot thickens
From the Queens Chronicle:
A man who was accused by his former landlord of vandalizing and spray painting swastikas in an apartment he used to live in said he is disgusted by the allegations, calling them untrue.
John Livieri, who resided in an apartment on 83rd Street in Lindenwood, said the charge by landlord Vincent Ljuba that he trashed the apartment he rented that was owned by Ljuba’s family is “completely ridiculous and untrue.”
“I have Jewish family members,” Livieri said. “Why would I paint swastikas? What would I get out of doing this? It makes no sense.”
The two men have been involved in a landlord-tenant dispute for several months.
Ljuba claimed Livieri owed him more than $20,000 in back rent, Livieri said he owes five months of rent, around $7,500, because he was involved in a civil court case with Ljuba and an attorney advised him not to pay rent until the issue was settled. Livieri moved out after a civil court judge said he could do that or stay and pay the five months’ back rent.
No one has been arrested for vandalizing the apartment.
In last week’s Queens Chronicle, Ljuba invited a reporter to the apartment to see the property damage and various racially charged symbols that were spray painted in it, including swastikas, vulgarities and references to the Ku Klux Klan.
Livieri said his former landlord is responsible for the damage, and that the apartment was broken into and robbed on several occasions by Ljuba himself.
“He did a lot of treacherous things,” Livieri said, claiming that the landlord shut his water off and poured fuel oil in the sewer pit of the basement of the building.
Ljuba denied any wrongdoing, and stuck by his story.