After Rivington House scandal, ex-city official just wants one thing

Ricardo Morales said he was fired for political reasons

New York /
Aug.August 01, 2017 11:40 AM

Ricardo Morales — a former deputy commissioner who said he was fired from his City Hall post for political reasons — claims he simply wants to go back to work.

For those keeping track, back in 2015 Morales signed off on lifting the deed restriction at Rivington House, which led to the sale of the property to Slate Property Group, Adam America and China Vanke for $116 million. They planned a luxury condominium on the site. Morales was fired unceremoniously in February amid a federal probe into the transaction.

“I don’t believe in vengeance… I am not looking for a payday either. I am looking for justice,” said Morales, a former deputy commissioner for the Department of Citywide Services. “I followed the rules and for that I got political punishment.”

Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the decision to fire Morales was made because of poor job performance. He also said Morales’ $5 million claim against the city was a money grab.

“That’s nonsense; that’s falsehood,” Morales said, according to the New York Post.

Morales said City Hall pressured him and then-DCAS commissioner Stacey Cumberbatch to give businessman Harendra Singh a break on $750,000 in back rent on his Water’s Edge restaurant in Queens in 2015. Singh, a de Blasio campaign donor, cooperated with a now-closed federal investigation into the mayor’s fundraising efforts.

Morales claims he was fired after he raised objections to “City Hall’s lack of truthfulness” in the Rivington House deal. [NYP]E.B. Solomont


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Eric Adams, Kathryn Garcia and Maya Wiley (Getty/iStock, Photo Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Real estate looks like a winner in mayor’s race
Real estate looks like a winner in mayor’s race
Kathryn Garcia backers include Extell's Gary Barnett, BFC Partners' Donald Capoccia, and L+M's Ron Moelis and David Dishy (Getty, BFC, L+M)
Gary Barnett throws $50K behind PAC supporting Kathryn Garcia
Gary Barnett throws $50K behind PAC supporting Kathryn Garcia
Hudson Yards (iStock)
EB-5 program set to expire at the end of June
EB-5 program set to expire at the end of June
RSA President Joe Strasburg (Jefferson Siegel) and Governor Cuomo (Getty)
Landlords ask Cuomo to ditch eviction ban after ending Covid restrictions
Landlords ask Cuomo to ditch eviction ban after ending Covid restrictions
Mayor Bill de Blasio and REBNY president James Whelan (Getty, Whelan via Anuja Shakya)
Business alliance urges de Blasio not to blow $22B federal aid windfall
Business alliance urges de Blasio not to blow $22B federal aid windfall
Council member Rafael Salamanca Jr and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (Getty, Facebook via Salamanca Jr.)
City Council to require racial equity reports for rezonings
City Council to require racial equity reports for rezonings
(Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Years ago he took a bribe. Now he can’t get a license
Years ago he took a bribe. Now he can’t get a license
What would a Shaun Donovan mayoralty mean for real estate?
WATCH: What would a Shaun Donovan mayoralty mean for real estate?
WATCH: What would a Shaun Donovan mayoralty mean for real estate?
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...