Pols say: Rudy Guiliani pal is harassing tenants – again!
BY JONATHAN LEMIRE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Saturday, August 6th 2011, 4:00 AM
Already convicted of fleecing his tenants to support his poltical pals in 1996, polticians say property owner Bill Koeppel is at it again.
A Manhattan real estate scion convicted of badgering tenants to give campaign contributions to Rudy Giuliani is once again mistreating his renters, elected officials charge.
William Koeppel is locked in a fight with striking workers at his E. 52nd St. building and reportedly has brought in replacements who have stopped cleaning and started threatening tenants, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio charged.
“This landlord once fleeced tenants to support his political pals,” said de Blasio, flanked by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and State Sen. Liz Krueger. “Now he’s squeezing every nickel out of workers and residents for his own profit. He does not have his tenants’ interests in mind.”
Koeppel pleaded guilty in 1996 to exchanging contributions to Giuliani for access to rent-controlled apartments. He is not suspected of doing the same this time – and he defended his building’s practices.
“The service level in this building has increased in recent months,” said Koeppel, who opted out of a deal with SEIU 32 BJ, the doormen, porters and maintenance workers union.
“These charges are not substantiated, but they are very easy to make,” said Koeppel, who dismissed the claims as the work of a few “troublesome” tenants.
Residents say the roof is littered with 24 cell towers and that the building has become full of trash and vermin. “This doesn’t feel like a safe home anymore,” said tenant Kirk Swanson, who lives in the building with his wife and two children. “William Koeppel revels in greed.” firstname.lastname@example.org
(See more current Koeppel in the media here)