Brooklyn State Assembly candidate under fire for taking funding from developer

August 25, 2011 02:45PM

A candidate for the State Assembly from Bushwick in Brooklyn is under
criticism from tenant advocates and his opponents for taking $5,000
from developer Jay Wartski and his brother, the Daily News reported.
Rafael Espinal, a Democratic candidate for the 54th Assembly district, received an additional $1,000 from Wartski through two of his limited
liability corporations. New Whitehall Apartments and 304 W. 92nd St.
Realty, two LLCs that records show are owned by Wartski, each made a
$500 contribution to Espinal July 13, according to the Daily News.
Espinal said his opponents, Jesus Gonzalez from the Working Families
Party, and independent candidate Deirdra Towns, the sister of Darryl
Towns, who left the seat originally to become Commissioner and CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, also have taken funding from real estate firms.

“[Wartski’s] history doesn’t have anything to do with my campaign… I’m not going to be influenced by who donates money to my campaign,”
Espinal said.

Wartski, who declined to comment, is contending with legal issues over Dexter House on the Upper West Side for renting rooms out on a nightly basis. Residents say he has harassed tenants to evict them and convert the
house into a hotel. He has also been accused of forcing out tenants,
failing to do maintenance and allowing prostitution and drug-dealing
at the Bond and Sahara hotels [NYDN]