An attorney for Mazi Melesa Pilip, the Republican nominee in...

An attorney for Mazi Melesa Pilip, the Republican nominee in the race for the 3rd Congressional District, has asked that her deposition in a lawsuit over her husband's business be scheduled after the Feb. 13 special election. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Mazi Melesa Pilip, the Republican Party's nominee to replace expelled GOP Rep. George Santos, has been subpoenaed to testify in an ongoing lawsuit accusing her husband and his medical practice of breaching a lease agreement.

Pilip, a Nassau County legislator from Great Neck, faces former 3rd Congressional District Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat, in the Feb. 13 special election to serve the remainder of Santos' congressional term. 

Lawyers representing Pilip and her husband, Dr. Adalbert Pilip, are asking that a deposition be scheduled after the election. But Steven Ferber, attorney for the plaintiff, Progressive Housing Corp., argues Pilip must be deposed before then because her availability will be limited if she wins. 

“If Donald Trump can appear in court and for depositions while he is campaigning for his Presidency, surely Ms. Pilip can spare a few hours to attend her deposition,” wrote Ferber, a senior partner at Islandia-based Davis & Ferber LLP.

In the lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court in Suffolk County, Adalbert Pilip and A.P. New York Comprehensive Medical Care are accused of breaching a multiyear lease for a facility in Bay Shore, failing to pay about $72,000 in rent due as of late 2020 and owing an additional $497,000 for the five remaining years of the lease through 2026, according to a 2021 amended complaint. Attorneys for the physician have denied the allegations in court.

Mazi Pilip was not named in the complaint.

"This is nothing more than an ongoing lease dispute between a private business and a landlord," said Brian Devine, a spokesman for Pilip's campaign. 

A representative of Progressive Housing Corp. served Mazi Pilip, who was director of operations at the medical practice, the subpoena on Jan. 4, court records show. She left the position in 2021 to run for her legislative seat, Devine said.

The Pilips’ attorney, William Birney, said Adalbert Pilip was available for deposition on Feb. 14. Birney, partner at the Garden City-based Rosenberg Calica & Birney LLP, said Mazi Pilip could be deposed sometime after and accused the other side of putting political pressure on his client.

“Plaintiffs counsel however has refused to consent to this arrangement in what appears to be an attempt to exert pressure upon the defendant and his wife who is presently actively engaged in her campaign as a candidate for election to the United States House of Representative in a special election to be held on February 13, 2024,” wrote Birney, who requested a conference to resolve the matter.

Ferber, in a Jan. 9 court filing, denied his client was exerting pressure and insisted Mazi Pilip’s deposition be scheduled for Jan. 22.

“I am appalled that a firm of this stature would even make an accusation of that nature against me,” Ferber wrote. “If I was looking to exert pressure, I would have returned the multiple phone calls from the media seeking a statement concerning the lawsuit and actions of the defendant Dr. Pilip and his wife.”

Ferber said Mazi Pilip was subpoenaed after the firm learned she handled the day-to-day operations for the practice as reported in Newsday on Dec. 15. That was also when the firm learned Pilip was running for Congress.

Ferber did not respond to a request for comment.

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