Ex-president sues National Arts Club over eviction attempts

From left: the National Arts Club at 15 Gramercy Park South and former President O. Aldon James

Former National Arts Club President O. Aldon James is suing the club in advance of a hearing to evict him, his twin brother John and their friend Steven Leitner from the club apartments at 15 Gramercy Park South, DNAinfo reported.

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After an internal investigation that ended in June, the National Arts Club alleged that James used “thousands and thousands of dollars” from the club to fund personal expenses and stole money from club events. Though James vacated his role as presidency, the three continue to occupy their apartments at rents well below market value, the club charges. James’ apartment costs him $1,143 a month, Leitner’s is $858 per month and John’s unit costs just $356 per month, according to DNAinfo. The club is holding a hearing this week to vote on the trio’s eviction.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to secure and protect NAC assets, we have taken appropriate steps to obtain possession of certain apartments that are, in the opinion of our counsel, being used in an unauthorized fashion,” said club President Dianne Bernhard.

According to the New York Post, the three have kept seven apartments to themselves, although it’s not immediately clear in what form those apartments are held. In the suit, the plaintiffs say the National Arts Club is making a “thinly veiled effort” to recover the apartments so that they can return them to market rate, while saying the James brothers and Leitner are being victimized for needing more apartments as a result of their suffering from “compulsive hoarding.” [DNAinfo] and [Post]