The Real Deal New York

City Council candidates face back-rent judgments

August 27, 2013 06:18PM

From left: Joyce Johnson, Robert Cornegy and Olanike Alabi

From left: Joyce Johnson, Robert Cornegy and Olanike Alabi

Four City Council contenders — Joyce Johnson, John Whitehead, Robert Cornegy and Olanike Alabi — stand accused of owing tens of thousands of dollars in back rent.

Front and center in the controversy is Johnson, who is running to replace Council member Robert Jackson in Upper Manhattan. Johnson stands accused of owing $38,864 in unpaid rent, according to court records cited by the New York Post. Her landlord even reportedly tried to collect the debt by “forcible entry,” according to records.

“These matters can get accusatory and blown out of proportion,” Michael Tobman, her campaign spokesman, told the Post, with regard to the question of forcible entry. “Joyce has long settled all old issues with the management company of her building and has an August rent statement reflecting a completely normal and paid balance.”

The landlord, Tower West Association, declined to discuss the case with the Post.

Whitehead, running for Charles Barron’s seat in Brooklyn, has also racked up judgments. He reportedly owes $24,458 in back rent to landlord Spring Creek Associations. There are 16 judgments on record in the matter, according to the Post, all of which are listed as eviction cases.

Cornegy, who is running to replace Al Vann in Brooklyn, and Olanike Alabi, vying for Letitia James’s Brooklyn seat, have also been slapped with judgments. Cornegy’s totaled $12,870 from landlord Edwin Drakes in 2005, while the four judgments against Alabi total $9,946.

Both Cornegy and Alabi’s judgments are listed as eviction cases. [NYP]Julie Strickland

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