Truth & Justice the
American Koeppel Way!
In case you haven’t been following this blog, here’s condensed recap of the situation at 350 East 52nd Street, a “luxury” building owned by New York’s cruelest landlord. (Many more details are available throughout this website). This is not your standard episode due to its length – please think of it as a mini series. 🙂
Bill Koeppel stopped paying for medical benefits to employees of the building causing immense hardship on the families of our staff and prompting the workers to strike.
Since then, tenants have struggled with the following issues:
- Security problems, rotating crew of new doormen (not knowing who lives here & who doesn’t – One resident reported that a man was given a key to an apartment without her permission. see post)
- Koppell has allowed the garbage inside & outside of the building to pile up to the point of attracting rats, mice & maggots – (yes, maggots. see post here & here).
- There has been one confirmed & 2 additional complaints of bedbugs in building which Koepell has failed to disclose to unsuspecting new tenants which is required by law.
- Bill Koepell has spent many hours trying to publicly humiliate the striking workers (see examples here).
- In August, tenants held a press conference with several elected officials, including State Senator Liz Krueger and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio & Assemblyman Dan Quart, calling for an end to the deteriorating conditions. With the assistance of these public officials and the law firm of Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben, Donoghue & Joseph, tenant Kirk Swanson uncovered that William Koeppel has been breaking the law by illegally destabilizing apartments while receiving tax abatements. A class action suit has been filed by tenants of the building.
- The influx of new employees included a new building super who was introduced by Koeppel in a letter dated July 25th which was distributed to tenants as well as taped to a column wall in the lobby and in the elevator hallway. The new super’s name is Tom and he resides in apartment #2D at 350 East 52nd Street.
Excluding many details of William Koeppel’s horrifying behavior and criminal history which you can find throughout this site, you are now up to speed on the situation in the building.
November 30, 2011
As per countless other employees sent in by Modern Staffing, the firm William Koeppel hired to manage replacement staff, Tom was let go sometime last week. Tom lives in the building and therefore, to any reasonable person and presumably by law, would have to be given notice which would include a specific date to vacate his residence. He was not given that courtesy. Instead, yesterday, the gorilla boss from Modern Staffing showed up at Tom’s door with a locksmith. His name is Brian Rexroat. Brian told Tom he must leave his residence now and that the locks would be changed. Tom called the police.
Tom told the police that he lived in the apartment and there were some legal issues between he, Modern Staffing & Bill Koppell and that he would stay in his apartment until the issues were resolved unless the courts mandated otherwise.
Brian told the police that Tom was never authorized to live in the apartment and wanted him arrested for trespassing.
These particular officers were not fully acquainted with eviction law and asked Tom to leave or risk arrest for trespassing, but Tom could keep his keys and the locks would not be changed.
Tom put on his coat & hat, picked up his duffel bag, calmly left the building and stood outside on the sidewalk with the striking workers and several tenants while Brian continued to lie to the police.
Because tenant Kirk S is the point man for the class action suit and speaks to the lawyers regularly and has direct access to many of the NY politicians, Tom called Kirk. Kirk advised Tom to go straight to the police station and speak with a superior officer and ask the officer to reference the field guide on eviction cases. Tom left for the 17th precinct in hopes of finding a superior officer who would assist him. Tom spoke to Lt. Serino who informed him that he could lawfully return & remain in his apartment unless the courts said otherwise. Tom returned 350 East 52nd Street. He was stopped by the doorman who had orders from Brian and WK to bar his entrance. Tom called the 17th precinct again. Two officers arrived and escorted Tom to his apartment.
(scene: lights dim. daylight fades)
Later in the evening as Tom was leaving the building to go out on an errand he ran into William Koeppel in the lobby. WK said I’m going to call the police and tell them you’re dangerous, violent and trespassing.
It was reported by a tenant passing through the lobby at that time that WK was yelling at the temporary porter who was covering the front desk for the replacement doorman, to call the police and the locksmith. When WK did not get immediate satisfaction after waiting several seconds for the police to show (as if this is a NYPD priority – especially on a night when the President is in town), he went to the corner of 52nd and First & pulled 5 Brooklyn Detectives who were assigned to the corner as part of the Obama security.
5 police men showed at Tom’s door and asked him to come to the lobby. They listened to the story from both sides and told the men they would have to wait for the 17th precinct police to handle the situation. In the mean time, they would stay just to make sure no violence erupted.
6 building tenants waited outside the building with the 5 Brooklyn detectives for the 17th precinct police to arrive. One of the tenants was Kirk S, whom William Koepell has a vehement hatred for ever since Kirk organized the first tenants association meeting at 350 East 52nd Street. William Koeppel and Brian Rexroat were inside the lobby.
Get ready for what happened next . . . You can’t make this stuff up!!
First you need to know that Kirk could easily pass for a professional weight lifter – solid muscle, with maybe 7% body fat, or less . . . here he is:
* Would you mess with this guy? Just look at his neck . . .
and here is purple faced, pudgy Brian, son of the owner of Modern Staffing:
Now, I’m not the betting type, but given the stats . . . who would you have to assume would win in a fight? . . . Me too.
As we stood outside of the lobby door, out came William Koeppel and pudgy, purple faced Brian Rexroat. Right in front of the 5 Brooklyn detectives & the tenants, Brian walked right up to Kirk and put his big purple face right in Kirk’s face – and I mean maybe an inch apart – and said the following:
“You look like a dick sucker”
and then he walked away. He must have been thinking one of two things:
1. I’ll piss Kirk off so that he punches me in the face right in front of 5 cops, or
2. Even though I’m a pudgy, purple faced, cowardly weakling who wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell to survive a swing from Kirk, I can do this because there are 5 cops here to protect me.
(Opinion) – It was so bizarre that we can suspect only someone as crazed as William Koeppel put him up to it. WK wouldn’t care if Brian ended up in a body cast – provided of course it was done in the name of a dollar.
The detectives quickly went over to Kirk and told him to “let it go” presumably because they suspected Kirk would hurt Brian as most men would have done in that situation. Somehow Kirk was able to maintain composure and did let it go.
As the wait continued, Kirk questioned WK about the bedbug situation (3 units in the building recently) and asked for proof that the apartments had been treated. Tenants were told that 1 apartment was treated & the other two were not professionally treated. Koeppel responded “I don’t owe anybody proof” that the situation had been adequately addressed. He then said “don’t let the bedbugs bite.” WK then apprised Kirk that he would be adding 12 more cell towers to the 28 existing towers on our building. Koeppel then laughed and turned away.
Two 17th precinct police eventually arrived & took Tom back to his apartment. They told him he was within his rights to stay. They also asked for proof of residence & Tom showed proof. The officers asked Tom’s next door neighbor for confirmation of Tom living in the apartment next door. She confirmed
At this point many of the tenants passing through the lobby were questioning the third incidence of police activity in the lobby in one day. It was clearly another chaotic debacle created by Bill Koeppel in our residence and the tenants are quite disturbed – again.
– Intermission –
- William Koeppel, pudgy Brian in lobby speaking with 2 police officers.
- Doorman trying to look invisible behind lobby desk in an attempt to ignore the banter of his boss, Brian & Brian’s boss, WK, as they feed the officers incredulous lies.
- 3 tenants stand by lobby desk and observe.
- Various tenants passing through lobby stop & ask what the commotion is about this time.
William Koeppel was intensely aggrivated. He told the police officers that they must remove Tom from his apartment because he has been terminated from Modern Staffing and no longer works in the building. “Dick sucker” Brian confirms. Police tell the men they have proof otherwise, Tom is staying and it must be addressed in court.
Koeppel’s face was now beet red. It is only on rare occasions he is seen without sunglasses on (even at night) & this was one of those occasions. His eyes were like beady little slits and his mind was spinning so fast it was palpable. In his confused state, William Koeppel yelled, “Tom doesn’t work here!! He never worked here, he only worked part time and he was never the super! He was the janitor!”
This massive lie prompted a tenant to walk over to the the column in the lobby, remove the memo that has been taped to the wall since July 25th, and hand it to the policeman. Koeppel loudly declared to the tenant that she was “not involved in this conversation” and waved his arms as though to shoo her away. The cop read the memo. Here it is – please see highlighted portion.
The memo signed by William Koeppel clearly states that Tom is not only the “new super”, but he is the building manager as well. In fact, according to Modern Staffing and Bill Koeppel, Steve (our super of many years) was to report to Tom!
More interesting tidbits about the memo:
William Koepell refers to “ongoing negotiations” with the union, including a meeting set for August. The reality is he blew off every meeting and refused to negotiate in good faith.
Re: “the services and security of the building have not been diminished”,
- we no longer get our UPS delivered regularly,
- the garbage is hidden in various places throughout the property for up to a week, harbors vermin & is a potential fire hazard;
- we have mice, rats, maggotts & bedbugs;
- unauthorized non residents have been allowed into the building
- our landlord spews profanities at people from the lobby on a regular basis,
- and we no longer have an awning on the front of our building.
- those “few vociferous, militant tenants” are almost the entire building and
- “the porters and doormen have been replaced with competent and professional nonunion workers-many of whom are former U.S. military” . . . well, that’s an entire episode in itself – coming soon! We can tell you that 1 replacement worker is in the reserves and that is the extent of “former U.S. military” of which Koeppel refers.
- At this point we’ve lost count of the number of workers who have come & gone since June but those who have left have had no qualms about telling us that the only information their employer, Modern Staffing require of their employees is their name. No resume, no address, no social security number or tax forms and no background check what so ever. These are the men who have keys to our apartments. William Koeppel states in the above memo that security has not been diminished so it must be true.
Ok, back to the script . . .
As the officer was reading the memo, William Koeppel insisted that apartment #2D was his office – and Brian’s office too. Yes! They held meetings and interviews in there during the week – it was not Tom’s apartment – Tom did not live in the building – this was their office! One tenant interjected, “Tom was absolutely the super of this building and he absolutely lives in apartment 2D.” The other tenants confirmed.
Brian and William Koeppel were both unaware of the fact that Tom had changed the lock on his door sometime in August and the only person with keys to Tom’s apartment was Tom. We have to wonder how Brian and Koeppel managed to have meetings and interviews in Tom’s residence without Tom’s consent and no access to apartmemt #2D.
Once the officers read the memo, they couldn’t leave fast enough. Tom was to stay and they made that clear to Brian and Koeppel. For some reason Brian thought he should chime in and began nonsensical talk that we have yet been able to interpret. It was something along the lines of him living in apartment #2D, then accusing the tenant who provided the memo to the officers of living in apartment #2D. If you had to re-read that last sentence, don’t worry, it makes no sense – it was crazy!
Luckily for tenants of 350 East 52nd Street, word has it that William Koeppel was on a plane back to his Palm Beach Estate today. We anticipate a well deserved break for at least a couple of days – This reality show is way more exhausting than it may appear to our viewers.
Please stay tuned as the plot thickens. We have a very special episode full of twists and surprises for you coming soon!