The National Arts Club, which regularly fetes the A-list of New York high society, found itself in a public-relations nightmare yesterday amid reports of sweet real-estate deals for insiders and hoarding that would impress the Collyer Brothers.
The club’s bow-tie-wearing president, O. Aldon James, rents out an apartment in the Gramercy mansion to his twin brother for $356 a month, according to the website DNAinfo, which published pictures of shockingly trash-packed rooms purportedly at the club itself and leaked by former employees.
“I’ve seen all those rooms and they’re fine,” countered a club public relations spokesman, who termed the revelations “a crock.”
The apartments rented at the posh location for a fraction of market rates (James himself rents one for $1,143 a month) are part of a long-standing arrangement of which all the trustees are fully aware and part of a “tenants rights” agreement, said the spokesman.
Meanwhile, the Daily News reported that a dining room manager who pleaded guilty to skimming $160,000 in sales taxes in 2002 continued to draw his $247,000 salary. “He made a mistake. They chose to forgive him,” said the spokesman.