The boss of a developer of a Howard Johnson hotel heading to Long Island City, Queens accused a local pastor of attempting to extort money from the company.
Bishop Mitchell Taylor denied the claims, saying he is pushing for the hotel operators to agree to hire workers who reside at the Queensbridge Houses at 41-1 12th Street. The public housing development is in close proximity to the old Howard Johnson location at 38-71 13th Street.
China-based Mayflower International Hotels’ New York City CEO George Frangoulis claims Taylor sought a percentage of the salaries paid to local residents who the pastor wants to work on the hotel project.
Security cameras at the hotel site recently showed a fight between Taylor and the hotel employees, according to the New York Daily News.
According to Frangoulis’ account of the incident, as told to the newspaper, the bishop told the employees: “Do you know who you’re talking to? This is my neighborhood, and if you don’t comply with me I’m going to break your windows.” [NYDN] — Mark Maurer