Harlem council member socked with $265K in building fines

August 01, 2013 11:00AM

City Council member Inez Dickens owes $265,000 in building fines for a glut of violations in four buildings that she and her sister own in her Harlem district, the New York Post reported.

Dickens, who wants to replace Christine Quinn as council speaker next year, and older sister Delores Richards have racked up nearly 200 infractions for dangerous or unsanitary conditions. The two also owe nearly $40,000 in property taxes on three of the buildings.

The violations range from faulty lighting and electrical outlets and mold to unlicensed construction work and fire damage. A former tenant at 187 Lenox Avenue told the Post that he and his wife left after the “rotting” floor caved in, weakened by mold and mildew. Others have complained about a stair railing held together with duct tape, and holes in the wall.

Dickens declined to comment to the Post, but spoke to NY1.

“We live in our properties. We’re not an absentee owner,” Dickens told NY1. “There’s not a building that a family member does not also reside in the building for years, and so we know when there is a problem in the building.” [NYP and NY1] – Mark Maurer