The Real Deal New York

Preet Bharara hits Glenwood with wheelchair accessibility suit

US attorney claims firm's Liberty Plaza building built with "scores of inaccessible features"
February 05, 2016 06:10PM

Leonard Litwin’s Glenwood Management is once again in the crosshairs of Manhattan’s U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara – this time over wheelchair accessibility at one of the Long Island-based landlord’s apartment buildings.

In a complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Bharara’s office claims Glenwood’s Liberty Plaza luxury rental building at 10 Liberty Street in the Financial District “was designed and constructed with scores of inaccessible features” for those with disabilities.

The features in question include thresholds and mailboxes that are out of reach for people in wheelchairs, according to the New York Daily News, with the lawsuit going on to detail “numerous inaccessible conditions” that violate the Fair Housing Act.

In addition, the complaint claims Glenwood has a “pattern and/or practice” of failing to comply with the federal law in its design and construction of multifamily dwellings – citing several other apartment buildings built by the company, such as the Brittany on the Upper East Side and the Paramount Tower on East 39th Street, as examples.

Glenwood played a sizable role last year in the corruption trials of former Albany politicians Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, which were spearheaded by Bharara’s office.

The Skelos case featured allegations that the former state Senate majority leader had pressured Glenwood into giving his son, Adam, a job, while Silver’s case detailed how the former Assembly speaker directed Glenwood to real estate tax law firm Goldberg & Iryami – only for the law firm to quietly direct $700,000 in referral fees to Silver. [NYDN]Rey Mashayekhi