NY Daily News
Mayor de Blasio got mortgages on his Park Slope homes from a bank founded by the brother of men who received $173 million from the city in a controversial real estate deal, The Daily News has learned.
The bank de Blasio secured the mortgages from is Wall Street Mortgage Bankers, which operates under the name Power Express Mortgage Bankers, city Finance Department records show.
The bank’s treasurer, secretary, former president and founder is Abraham Podolsky, public records and multiple sources revealed.
Abraham is the brother of slumlords Jay and Stuart Podolsky, who earlier this year sold 17 buildings to the city for $173 million. Abraham did not respond to several messages.
The $173 million deal — ostensibly aimed at providing affordable housing for poor New Yorkers — came under intense scrutiny for months from critics who pointed to Jay and Stuart’s criminal past, a federal probe into their real estate empire and wildly divergent appraisals on the land they ultimately sold to the city.
Abraham’s company’s loans to de Blasio as well as his family connections are now renewing concerns about potential conflicts of interest surrounding the deal.
Fordham University political science professor Christina Greer said she wants to see the web of connections investigated.
“Something doesn’t smell right. I’m not willing to say something is wrong just yet,” she said. “...This is worth an inquiry.”
City Comptroller Scott Stringer is probing appraisals of the Podolsky properties — one city appraisal valued the 17 properties as low as $49.67 million. In April, he demanded de Blasio’s administration make them available through a subpoena.
Stringer declined to comment on that investigation, de Blasio’s mortgages and whether those mortgages potentially could have given Jay and Stuart Podolsky any leverage during negotiations.
Mayor de Blasio’s hand-picked Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett refused to comment as well.
The ironic thing about this disgusting bribe (which the mayor is allowed to get away with) is that this hook up with the Podolskys, who use to run dilapidated and rodent infested cluster apartment buildings to house the homeless for decades, technically prevents the mayor from being homeless himself.