The giant real-estate firm that was once the biggest political donor in New York is being sued by US Attorney Preet Bharara for not making one of its properties disability-friendly, new court papers charge.
Glenwood Management — which had ties to now disgraced and convicted ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and ex-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos — has “scores of inaccessible features” at its property 10 Liberty Street in Downtown Manhattan, a federal lawsuit says.
Liberty Plaza, a 287-unit luxury building with a 50-foot pool and roof sundeck, also has mailboxes that are mounted too high for wheelchair-bound people, “excessively” high thresholds at various entrances, hallways that aren’t wide enough for wheelchairs and other violations, the lawsuit says.
The government accuses Glenwood of being in violation of Fair Housing Act accessibility requirements and “unlawfully discriminated against persons with disabilities … by failing to design and construct Liberty Plaza so as to be accessible to persons with disabilities.”
It also says similar inaccessible conditions can be found at other Glenwood properties which are currently under construction at 160 West 62nd Streetand 329 West 38th Street which have “excessively high thresholds and environmental controls that lack sufficient distance from the edge of kitchen appliances,” the suit says.
“The numerous inaccessible conditions at Liberty Plaza reflect a pattern and/or practice on Glenwood’s part of failing to comply with the FHA’s accessiblity requirements…” the government wrote in the suit.
Glenwood didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.
The real-estate developer got favorable treatment from Silver in Albany in exchange for steering business to Goldberg & Iryami, the law firm that gave the ex-politician kickbacks.
Dean Skelos also badgered Glenwood’s lead counsel to get his son Adam a job in 2012, one of three quid pro quo schemes the Skeloses’ were convicted of running.
Silver was found guilty on corruption charges in November.