Booted National Arts Club president sues Gramercy shop in struggle for apartment

February 26, 2013 12:00PM

A mom-and-pop hardware store is now caught up in the messy back-and-forth between Gramercy Park’s National Arts Club and former president O. Aldon James over his tony below-market rate apartment, DNAinfo reported. 

In his latest lawsuit, the 65-year-old James is suing Warshaw Gramercy East Hardware for changing the locks on his home in the club’s mansion at 15 Gramercy Park South.

Earlier this month, the club’s board decided to kick out James for mishandling funds and charging below-market rents to himself, twin brother John James and a friend, 81-year-old Steven Leitner. The men are asking the New York State Supreme Court to block the vote.

James, in the new filing, claims the club’s current president, Dianne Bernhard, did not get his permission to hire the hardware store to replace the locks.  The club also removed property from the apartment, which James maintains destroyed evidence needed to exonerate him in  another legal matter.

The club, according to DNAinfo, had to rent several massive trash receptacles to haul away James’ belongings.

“Defendants concede that they kept no records whatsoever of the 21 large construction dumpsters filled with Plaintiff’s property that they destroyed,” the lawsuit states. “These destroyed records were essential to Aldon James’ defense of multi-million dollar damage suits against him by both the Attorney General and the Club.” [DNAinfo] —Christopher Cameron