The Real Deal New York

Heiberger blasts Maitland over move to Brown Harris Stevens

In new legal documents, Town founder claims former prez of sales behaved inappropriately

August 18, 2016 12:40PM
By Katherine Clarke

From left: Andrew Heiberger, Wendy Maitland and Hall Willkie

The bare-knuckle brawl over Wendy Maitland’s exit from Town Residential just got really bloody.

Andrew Heiberger TRData LogoTINY, Town’s founder and CEO, blasted Maitland, one of his first employees and former president of sales, in new documents related to Maitland’s May lawsuit against the company. Maitland has moved over to Brown Harris Stevens, state records show.

Heiberger claims Maitland has violated her employment agreement several times over by stealing confidential information, soliciting Town brokers to leave the company with her, making disparaging remarks about Town and conspiring to move to Terra Holdings, a direct competitor and parent company of brokerages Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property.

In Maitland’s May suit against Town she claimed that Joseph Sitt, the former co-owner of Town, had withheld funds from the firm, costing it agents and a prized new development exclusive. She asked a judge to invalidate her noncompete. Heiberger bought out Sitt’s stake in the company in July and is now standing by his former partner’s position that Maitland’s noncompete should be upheld.

He dubbed Maitland’s original complaint “frivolous” and said it was merely intended to create bad press for the firm.

“While it is beyond unfortunate that Wendy would go to such lengths to breach her contract and selfishly cause so much damage, at least the official record has been corrected and established so that all of the 500-plus employees and representatives who love Town and their clients and customers can learn the truth,” Heiberger told The Real Deal. “We expect Wendy to fully abide by her contract and it should be clear now that we will seek to enforce it in full.”

Maitland was not immediately available for comment. She moved to Town in December 2010 from BHS, where she was a senior vice president.

According to Heiberger’s affidavit, BHS chief Hall Willkie is alleged to have confirmed during an Aug. 11 lunch that Maitland was negotiating with Alan Kersner, the COO of Terra, to head a new development unit that would be a subsidiary of Terra. She would conduct her resales through BHS. Terra Holdings’ new development division is currently run by Stephen Kliegerman.

Heiberger also claims that she’s solicited several brokers from Town to join her there. Terry Naini, Jason Karadus and Ginger Brokaw have already moved to BHS. A spokesperson for BHS was not immediately available.

Maitland joined Town in 2010 and earned $3.7 million from her work at the company, according to the affidavit. She was also provided with a car and driver and was reimbursed for expenses in the amount of $650,000.

Heiberger also lashes out against what he alleges was inappropriate behavior by Maitland while she was at Town.

He claims she abused her position by borrowing at least $50,000 directly from the brokers who worked under her, calling her behavior “coercive and improper.” He also alleges that Maitland took possession of an apartment in a Town development project at 529 East 13th Street, inking a contract to purchase it,  but failed to close or ever even pay the deposit.

Attorneys for Town contend that Maitland has more than enough money to support her family. A screenshot of her JP Morgan Chase bank account from March 10, which was included in the affidavit, shows a balance in her savings account of $1.54 million. Thor’s attorney Joseph Matalon was replaced by Mark Landau as Town’s representative this morning.