Slumlord Sam Suzuki Turns Himself In to Court
Lawyers for the tenants of 1585 East 172nd Street in the Soundview section of the Bronx had asked the judge to issue the warrant because Suzuki had done next to nothing about repairs that the court had ordered way back in July 2009.
Things tend to get drawn out in Housing Court (we've seen cases in which massive court-ordered repairs are left undone far longer than this). But in this case, Suzuki made things easy for his opponents. He simply didn't show up to court. In March, a month after a judge again ordered repairs -- for at least the third time -- Suzuki's attorney, Kenneth Rosen of Rose and Rose, showed up to say that he was withdrawing from the case. In a letter to the court, he said relations between himself and Suzuki's firm, Hunter Property, had "broken down." With that, Judge Jerald Klein granted the tenants' contempt motion, and subsequently issued the arrest warrant.
The 49-unit building, beset by leaks, mold, and rats, currently has 662 open violations, including lead paint, leaking ceilings, and broken floors.