The city official who approved lifting deed restrictions that allowed a Lower East Side nursing home to be flipped for luxury condos has been fired.
Ricardo Morales, a deputy commissioner at the Citywide Department of Administrative Services, was let go on Friday — hours after Mayor de Blasio’s highly anticipated sit-down with federal prosecutors, his attorney confirmed Saturday.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the firing.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is investigating the Rivington deal as part of a broader investigation into whether de Blasio’s administration gave special favors to donors.
Guy Oksenhendler, an attorney for Morales, said he found the dismissal — in the context of the day’s events — to be highly problematic. “I find the timing of my client’s firing extremely suspicious,” he said. “Around the time that meeting would have concluded, my client was terminated.”
Oksenhendler added that he believes Morales was targeted by the mayor himself.