If an ousted newsstand operator starts paying off $10,000 in fines, he can go back to the Astor Place kiosk in the East Village that he occupied for 24 years, the city has decided.
The city evicted Jerry Delakas in 2011 over allegations that he was illegally operating the newsstand, located near Lafayette Street, because it was licensed to another person. He made a deal Friday with the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs to pay $1,000 for a new lease in addition to a $9,000 fine. Payments of more than $2,000 must be paid every few months until the debt is fulfilled, DNAinfo reported.
“This is not about winners or losers — this is about emotional moments,” Delakas said at a press conference he held at the newsstand. “Americans open their hearts for needs.”
Locals had decried the eviction, calling Delakas’ newsstand a casualty of heartless city bureaucracy.
Delakas had leased the stand for $75 a week from a couple who has since passed away, before he attempted to renew the lease in his own name. The city initially denied him because the arrangement was deemed illegal, but has relented following community pressure, the website said. [DNAinfo] — Mark Maurer