Longtime aide is latest to sue Solow

Developer Sheldon Solow has been sued by one of his former top executives who claims he was dismissed without cause in 2008 and has not received the retirement package previously promised to him. The New York Observer reported that Steven Cherniak, who worked with Solow for 26 years, filed the suit last month in U.S. District Court.

Incredibly, Cherniak’s replacement, James Yasser — whom Cherniak approached in 2009 to recoup his promised benefits to no avail — filed a similar suit when he was fired from the firm shortly thereafter. Yasser claimed he was owed $1.6 million in unpaid wages.

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The Observer noted that the latest suit is a reversal of course for the notoriously litigious Solow, who is usually on other side of lawsuits. In hundreds of suits over the years, Solow has gone after family members, banks, brokers, tenants and even former owners of his buildings.

But in recent years, the 83-year-old developer of Manhattan’s famed 9 West 57th Street office building has beocme more reclusive and slowed the pace of his legal battles. The Observer said he’s finally beginning to involve his son, Stefan, more in the family business, a sign that a succession plan is in place. [NYO]