Sunday, May 27, 2007

Daily News exposes developer abuses

The New York Daily News deserves major kudos for their recent investigative series about construction abuses in this city!

The biggest building boom in more than 30 years has spawned a cadre of scofflaw developers in every borough who routinely violate building codes, flout zoning regulations and ignore basic construction safety, a Daily News investigation shows.

How hot construction biz brings a black market, scams & death

Five workers have died on the job so far this year.

Virtually all the deaths occurred in buildings where city building codes were violated or federal safety regulations ignored.

Yet the number of inspectors for OSHA and the city Buildings Department, the first lines of defense for worker safety, remains woefully inadequate.

Fatal gaps in the safety system

And then, there's Tommy Huang:

Queens developer is like one-man wrecking crew

Nothing seem to stop developer Thomas Huang. Not his long record of violations of the city's building and zoning codes. Not numerous lawsuits. Not dozens of formal complaints.

41 violations and $628,000 later...

Nowhere is this more apparent than in a series of stores and apartments Huang is building along Broadway and 51st Ave. in Elmhurst.

Area residents have filed 55 complaints against the project, and Huang has racked up 41 serious building violations. The city has slapped him with $54,050 in fines, but so far he has paid only $10,150, city records show.

Then there's the case of Karen Lieberman of Manhattan:

To city, Karen Lieberman is the invisible woman

Last May, developer Warren Malone received a permit to demolish the inside of his brownstone at 30 W. 85th St. The plans, certified by the architect but not confirmed by inspection, failed to show that Lieberman, the sole tenant, was living there.

Let's all write to Mr. Kates and thank him for his wonderful expose and tell him to keep up the good work!


Anonymous said...

The city was warned about Tommy Huang many years ago. He was Don Manes' boy wonder. He's been out of control ever since Manes' alleged suicide.

Anonymous said...

Tommy Huangs wife, Alice Liu, is John Liu's first cousin. Alice's father owns the Great Eastern Bank where Joseph Liu (John's daddy), then bank president and others, bilked investors for millions of dollars. The "Seven Giants" case. It was never determined what was Tommy Huang's role in this scam, other than owning the property in question. The fact is, crime runs in this family.

With his family and political ties, is it any wonder why Tommy Huang gets away with breaking the law at every turn?

Anonymous said...

The story about Tommy Huang didn't touch on what he has been doing in Bayside for the past several years. That is a story in itself and yet to be told. Rumor is that the boys are tired of people badmouthing their family. Well fellas, it any over yet. Next chapter is still to come. You might want to get serious and clean the slate with your many victims. Your arrogance is amaging. You are pissing off everyone big time. You probably should rethink those those bogus lawsuits against your victims. By the way, it may be against the law. It seems the apples don't fall far from the tree. The business is definitely a family affair. Father, mother, sons, daughter & daughter-in-law. All should share in the fame or is that defaming.

georgetheatheist said...

Folks, Google "The Seven Giants" case and read for yourself the Appellate Court Decision affirming Councilman John Liu's father's (Joseph Liu et al.) conviction..."conspiracy to misapply bank funds and to make false entries in bank records..."

Eric Gioia, Jesus-wannabee and "his brother's keeper", note that the Daily News article states "the underground [construction] economy cheats the government of no less than $85.3 million"...HOW MANY FOOD STAMPS CAN THAT BUY?...The illegal day-laborers are in plain sight on Roosevelt Avenue...Check out the sidewalks in front of Gleason's Paint Store in your district!!!

Anonymous said...

Guys, before you start to high five the News, many of us with long memories remember a number of malicious mean spirited things they wrote (even quite recently) when grass root groups stood in the way of developers.

St Saviours (remember?) was one. The list, their damage, is unfortunately, rather lengthy.

One swallow does not a spring make, and a handful of articles (especially after Crappie has bashed them a few weeks ago) does not necessarily signal a change of heart.

Anonymous said...

H-m-m-m....Tommy was even a member CB#7!

Let's see....who's left around from the old days (25 years ago) !

Myra Baird Herce .....a name that's still going strong .....and now head of the Flushing Chamber (pot) of Commerce yadda, yadda....whatever!

That's someone who deserves looking into!

I'll bet that she knows the real skinny on all the old players !

Anonymous said...

Huang had free reign in the mid 1980s.

Those were the days my did someone once put it....l "We don't want to offend the Asians" !

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Ms. Herce that said of Huang, "......well, he isn't a pariah....." ??????

No....he's a scourge.....a plague !!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Now along with Gambino, Luchese etc. do we now have the emergence of a new "crime family".....the Huangs (and possibly the Liu's) ???????

Homeland Security had better look into their dealings.....that is unless buddy Ackerman has told them to lay off !

Anonymous said...

Can you guess who this is?

Once upon a time, there was a developer who had a big ego. I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down. I’ll destroy your home and shatter your world. I’ll cause you great physical and financial pain. I’ll do as I please, even if it causes you irreparable harm. My henchman will always carry out my commands. My family will always be ready, willing and able to support me in the process. I’ll go through lawyer after lawyer until I find one that will aid me in my nefarious deeds. I am never at a loss for architects, engineers and subcontractors that have no qualms about putting their licenses on the line. I can always find realtors that are eager to show my properties with no Certicates of Occupancy in sight and even when it is unsafe to do so. It only takes money. My co-conspirators are easily bought.

I’m feeling invincible. Nothing has stopped me to date, not prosecutions, violations, lawsuits, formal complaints and a vast amount of newspaper coverage. I’ll continue the terror reign for as long as I wish because that is what I do best. I have 75+ projects going on at any given time. I don’t have to care about the adjacent property owners. I can sit on my properties, if need be, for 15 to 20 years. I can afford to keep you in litigation until you run out of money.

My family is safe. It’s your family that will be subjected to: living in danger, property damage, out of control project managers, after hours and weekend illegal work, living with rats caused by the workers garbage strewn about, health risks due to the lack of porta potties and the list goes on and on. My family is safe and sound and reaping the rewards of my empire.

I refuse to clean up my act. I don't care that I have hurt too many people. I don't care that people think that I am finished.
I am incapable of being a good citizen? I don't have to conduct myself in a civilized and responsible manner? I'm still in business? Obviously, I still has influence?

Why would the DA, DOI, IAD and BSIU be interested in little old me anyhow

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by Manes' ALLEGED suicide?

Anonymous said...

Go get 'em Jerry!

Anonymous said...

For Manes to have stuck a large kitchen knife directly into his heart (as the news media reported) would have been a near impossibility! This was confirmed to me by police forensic experts!

First....he had to have a heart!

Seriously.....he would have passed out from the first one half inch of the blade's penetration. He would have also had to have expert knowledge of physical anatomy for a blade that wide to clear the protective rib cage.

There are better , far less painful ways to go!

Is that graphic enough for the inquiring poster?

It might have well been murder (well covered up) by..... maybe.....a Chinese Tong that Manes may have been doing "business" with and.....maybe....was about to "rat on"??????? !!!!!! You pick the possible other scenarios!

Who knows! The are, similarly, more conspiracy theories circulating about the JFK assassination than can be numbered in a dream!

Connie R said...

Too much cloak and dagger speculation about Manes!!!! Here are some FACTS.

An army of reporters were stationed outside his home in Jamaica Estates following his hospital stay from the first alleged suicide attempt. The press was there for weeks. Then news broke about the suicide. Did anyone see any photos or a video of Manes dead body being carried from the house? NO. There were none. It's just something that always fascinated me.

Here's another FACT about Donald Manes death. Do a search on the Social Security Death Index (RootsWeb) - Donald Manes name does not appear in any of the results. Who knows, maybe Rudy put him in witness protection?

Anonymous said...

The guy in the picture reminds me of KILROY.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody think we hear from Councilman Lui on the notorious Tommy Huang?

Don't hold your breath.

georgetheatheist said...

Actually, the inside dope says that "Donny" was making a peanut butter sandwich and belched when the knife slipped.

Anonymous said...

Thanks...."Bernie"...Manes in the witness protection program was my second theory!

Anonymous said...

How come that the Staviskys never did a damn thing substantial about Huang since the early 1980s (when Leonard first referred to him as an alleged arsonist for the Continental Fruit Market fire on Main St.)?

Could they have been told to "play ball" with him while feigning strong criticism ?????? for thought!

Anonymous said...

Huang could have been nipped in the bud if Harrison and Stavisky weren't so busy feuding with each other!

That kind of political infighting was part of the reason that Flushing went down the toilet!

Imagine a situation where a State Senator and an NYC Council member spends more time sharpening their knives rather than teaming up for protecting their district from real estate invaders? !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Nothing and no one could have stopped Huang. Huang had Manes who was all powerful back in the early 80's. Huang had Ackerman. He had D'Amato.

Anonymous said...

To the last poster.....

maybe it wouldn't have stopped Huang.....but it didn't help Flushing much to have 2 paranoid ego-maniacal politicians like Harrison and Stavisky making war against each other when they should have been working together fighting, instead, for their Flushing constituents !

The common enemy (Manes , Huang & Co.) just sat back while that political cat fight was raging and smiled!

It all made the job of destroying Flushing much easier !

What a damn shame !

Anonymous said...

"Imagine a situation where a State Senator and an NYC Council member spends more time sharpening their knives rather than teaming up for protecting their district from real estate invaders? !!!!!"

I don't have to imagine, here's a reality check...... State Senator Frank Padavan and City Council Member, Anthony P. Avella. There's a political feud!!! AND NASTY.

In a perfect world everyone would get along, join hands and sing that Boy Scout favorite, KUM BA YAH. BUT, this is politics pal and you're in Queens where it gets down and dirty!

Both Avella and Padavan represent parts of Flushing and Bayside. Both have campaign contributors from building industry. Both are very vocal about over development and yet it still occurs. Both of them like seeing their faces in the newspaper and on TV. Both have known of Huang and his "methods" for years. Nothing has changed, politics as usual.

Huang and his family are still destroying Flushing and now, Bayside (and many other areas of NYC). What are your present day elected officials doing about it?
Except for lip service, NOTHING!!!!

Anonymous said...

It didn't help Flushing much to have paranoid ego-maniacal civic leaders, pseudo or otherwise, either.

Anonymous said...

It didn't (and still doesn't) help Flushing to have a kiss the buiders' ass community board like the good old #7!

Anonymous said...

to see Avella & Padavan in the same room without throwing daggers at each other is a rarity!

If I were a fight promoter, I'd throw 'em both in a boxing ring and you'd see some good rabbit punches, eye gouging and groin kicks!

Don't ya just love to see 2 politicians make such assholes out of themselves?

Anonymous said...

By the way......where was Myra Baird Herce and her old Downtown Flushing Development Corp. when Tommy Huang began to start having a "field day" with Flushing in the early 1980s?

Anonymous said...

Myra, Myra, Myra... Now there's a piece of work!!!! In the early 80's she and her cronies at the Downtown Flushing LDC were busy degrading Mike Bellow, the long time and well-respected president of the Flushing Chamber of Commerce. She claimed he was too old and senile to be taken seriously. Mike tried to warn Myra, the Community Board and the elected officials about the Asians not joining the well-established business associations; they wanted to form their own.

It was Myra who encouraged the creation of the Flushing Chinese Business Association, the Korean Business Association and it was Myra who is responsible for the merger of the Flushing Businessmen's Association with the Flushing Chamber. Separating or dividing the business community in Flushing created more opportunities for Myra. She was now the paid consultant for three business associations as well as the manger of the Downtown Flushing LDC, another paid position.

Myra Herce was one of the first people who claimed Flushing was blighted. When a long time Department Store in Flushing (Master’s) closed and one of a lesser quality (Baxter’s) opened, she claimed it was bringing the “wrong element” (blacks) into the area. Her reasoning was, the Q44 bus, which runs from the Bronx to Jamaica, stopped in from of the store.

She’s the one who always claims Flushing was “saved” by the influx of Asians into the community. According to Myra and others, “Flushing could have been another South Bronx”.

As chair of Community Board #7, she made recommendations to the Borough President for new appointees. She was the chair of Community Board #7 when Donald Manes appointed Tommy Huang to the Board.