The Real Deal New York

Brodsky dinged for hiring alleged mob-tied firm for church job

Contract with Breeze National for work at St. John the Divine draws fire; "inappropriate"
March 28, 2014 12:05PM

The Brodsky Organization hired a controversial demolition firm with alleged ties to the mob to assist in work on a two-building, 331,000-square-foot rental development project on the site of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights.

Toby Romano Sr., an alleged associate of the Lucchese crime family, formerly ran Brooklyn-based Breeze National, which has faced many safety violations. He was convicted in the late 1980s of bribing an inspector to not report violations related to asbestos removal. Two Breeze National workers have died on the job, the New York Daily News reported.

The firm was tasked with razing a one-story metal shed on the church site. The church signed an agreement last year with Brodsky to lease the parcel for 99 years.

Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell and Community Board 9 member Brad Taylor expressed concerns over Breeze National working in the area. Neither Breeze National nor Brodsky commented to the Daily News.

“I think it’s an inappropriate choice of a demolition company to be working in our neighborhood,” O’Donnell told the newspaper. [NYDN]Mark Maurer