The U.S. attorney’s office announced Friday it had settled a federal civil rights lawsuit against Glenwood Management Corp. regarding accessibility for people with disabilities.
As part of the settlement, Glenwood agreed to major retrofits at three residential Manhattan properties: Liberty Plaza, Hawthorne Park and The Sage.
Glenwood also agreed to inspect six other residential properties in Manhattan and make any needed changes.StoryFeds sue LI developers over disability accessStoryObserver: ‘Albany’s Watergate moment is here’
The company must ensure its ongoing and future projects comply with the accessibility requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act. It also agreed to provide up to $900,000 to compensate people affected by the buildings’ inaccessibility and will pay another $50,000 as a civil penalty. Its affiliate, Liberty Street Realty LLC, also was named in the settlement.
Glenwood officials did not return calls for comment.
The company, based in New Hyde Park, was tied to the December convictions of former State Senate leader Dean Skelos, 67, and his son, Adam Skelos, 33.
The men were charged with using the senior Skelos’ political might to squeeze $300,000 in pay for Adam from three firms, including Glenwood. The company arranged for Adam Skelos to get a $20,000 title fee and a $4,000-a-month consulting deal with AbTech Industries of Arizona.
Charles Dorego, a top Glenwood political operative, said in court that Skelos pleaded for his son’s consulting income to be raised. It eventually shot up to $10,000 a month.
Found guilty in December of bribery, extortion and conspiracy, the Skeloses recently asked for a new trial.
Regarding the accessibility issues, Glenwood’s Liberty Plaza property, a 287-unit rental complex, has insufficient spaces for wheelchairs and bathroom configurations that prevent the installation of grab bars.
“This settlement shows our enforcement efforts have motivated major developers like Glenwood to embrace their obligations under the law by making retrofits in thousands of apartments, compensating aggrieved parties, and establishing procedures to ensure accessibility at ongoing and future development projects,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
The settlement affects 2,500 rental apartments.
Those eligible for monetary compensation include people who were injured by the lack of accessibility, discouraged from living at the properties because of the buildings’ features, made to pay for accessibility-related upgrades, prevented from having disabled visitors or otherwise injured or discriminated against because of the buildings’ design.