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Fried Calls for Action On Illegal Apartments, Answers Campaign Contribution Questions

Democrat David Fried, who is running for Rockland County Executive, stood before Orangetown Fire. Co. No. 1 in South Nyack Monday to call for action in dealing with illegal housing units, calling them a public safety issue for all of Rockland County.

"Illegally chopped up units endanger the lives of tenants, neighbors and our first responders. This is a crisis that demands immediate action," Fried said. "When landlords chop up houses to make multiple apartments without proper permits, they create risks an dangers. Not only are they endgangering the lives of their tenants, but they also risk the lives in neighboring houses along with first responders."

Fried said the current system does not do enough. He called for standards to be set for the entire county and for databases to be shared among the towns and villages to help identify repeat offenders.He also called for more punitive fines.

"There's little incentive not to break the law," Fried said. "The amount in extra rent collected with illegal subdivisions is far greater than the fines. To many landlords, the fines are just the cost of doing business. I the penalty far exceeds the profit, maybe landlords will think twice before breaking the law and endangering the public."

Fried's opponent in the race for Rockland County Executive this fall, Republican Ed Day, responded with a press release pointing out that when Fried was running for Spring Valley Justice in 2009, he received in-kind donations from Joseph Klein's Empire Management in the form of the use of office space. According to the release, Empire Management has a history of operating illegal and unsafe housing in Ramapo. The release goes on to claim that the acceptance of such a donation was a conflict of interest.

Cliff Weathers of Fried's campaign said that Fried could not have known about the contribution from Empire Management, much less declined it, without breaking the law. He explained that according to the rules of the New York State Unified Court System, a candidate running for a judicial position cannot take part in fundraising, cannot know who the contributors are or decide to accept or reject any donations. For more on the court system laws, click here

"They can't accept or reject contributions for themselves," Weathers said. "They can't even look at them until the campaign is over."

According to Weathers, Fried did not know about the contribution from Empire Management until months after his campaign was over and closed, though he wasn't sure of the exact date. Weathers said they were disappointed that the response to Monday's press conference was about campaign financing rather than the issue of illegal housing.

The issue is not a new one. Rockland County Fire and Emergency Services Director Gordon Wren, Jr. and Rockland Deputy Fire Coordinator John Kryger spoke about cracking down the problem with a Rockland County Housing Task Force in 2012. See this report on Patch. They also spoke of the need to increase fines for illegal subdivisions an other measures to help fire inspectors work with other county entities to discover such housing.

"I recognize and appreciate the voice of the Rockland County Illegal Housing Task Force," Fried said. "You have expertise and insight from which government can learn. I will pay close attention to your findings and recommendations."

Weathers said South Nyack was chosen as the location fro Monday's press conference because they wanted to illustrate that illegal subdivisions are an issue in all parts of the county. He as joined by State Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian and former Rockand County Legislator Connie Coker. 
Craig Rosenfeld September 24, 2013 at 02:03 PM
And why start in Clarkstown?? Start in MONSEY!!!! That's where all this illegal apartment stuff originated from! Illegal apartments, illegally set up Yeshivas; read the papers, its been going on years and Fried will turn this entire County is a huge Ramapo or Monsey!! Welcome to NewSquare#2 ... Do NOT trust him!
jimmy September 24, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Fried is part of the bloc vote. I worked with him in the Sheriff's Dept. when they created a job for him so he wouldn't run for legislature against Jacques Michelle. He's not to be trusted.
Lilly September 24, 2013 at 03:30 PM
The article states that he wasn't aware of the contribution until months after he was elected as it is against the law for judge candidates to know about any contributions to them while they're running much less accept or decline them. I'm confused. Is Fried Hasidic? You claim that is he part of the bloc vote. He should've done this press release in Ramapo though where there are slumlords left and right.
Lanimilbus September 24, 2013 at 04:32 PM
As someone who lives in Nyack, this is a major problem. There's zero disincentive for landlords not to illegally subdivide their properties. The penalty comes nowhere near the profit they make by endangering their tenants.
S Goldberg September 24, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Anybody complaining that this press conference took place in South Nyack is blind too the problems there. Just take a walk up South Broadway, Franklin, White, Elysian and Washington and you'll find many houses chopped up into four or five units. Make your way up to Nyack and it is even worse. Let's not kid ourselves, it's not Ramapo, but the point is that this is everyone's problem and no community is immune. It's not that hard to figure out.
Lanimilbus September 24, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Psst, Chris Day, I mean Craig...South Nyack is Orangetown, not Clarkstown.
Sean Lewis September 24, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Chris, doesn't your dad trust you with any REAL campaign responsibility?
Jimmy R September 24, 2013 at 06:30 PM
I wonder if David will be just as quiet as Ilan with issues such as the chicken slaughterhouse in New Square, overdevelopment in Patrick Farm, etc. Sure seems like he's heading in that direction by not having this press conference in S. Nyack. I'm sure next soon forget that there are problems in the East Ramapo School District.
Jordan Turner September 24, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Anyone who has followed this campaign even a tiny bit knows that David is no only not part of the bloc vote, but that the bloc opposed him in the primary as he has taken stands against their interests throughout the entire campaign. Do not tarnish him merely because he is from Ramapo. Believe it or not, there are those in Ramapo who actually oppose the bloc and machine. Finally, lets stop talking about the Sherrifs office job since both Ilan Schoenberger and Ed Day voted for David's appointment (which is not a criticism of them as it was a pretty standard vote). David wants to not only end the horrible housing and building practices that pervade Ramapo, but also to make sure that they do not spread anywhere else. To say otherwise is just ignorance.
Jake Jacobs September 24, 2013 at 08:58 PM
I wonder if Mr. Fried supports Ken Zebrowski's measure to make all campaign ads state who funded them. After being schmeared by anonymous mailers, you'd think so.
Lilly September 24, 2013 at 09:30 PM
A quick google search showed a number of websites on Fried's views on Patrick Farms and overdevelopment. http://votefried.com/david-fried-outlines-opposition-to-patrick-farm-development/ http://peekskill.patch.com/groups/announcements/p/sierra-club-endorses-david-fried-in-democratic-primary-for-county-executive
Watchdog September 24, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Fried....Bloc Party...Black Hats....Red Ink.....Fried.....Sparaco....a Lose/lose.......Bloc Party....Fried....Moses Stern Fraud .....Klein Slumlord ..Sparaco....Fried....
Jimmy R September 24, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Three people showed up for this "press conference"? Maybe use cardboard cut-outs next time for the illusion.
Jimmy R September 24, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Sorry...four. Silly of me to forget the guy with a camera.
Watchdog September 25, 2013 at 01:01 AM
http://www.preserveramapo.org/Spring%20Valley/david_fried_tied%20to%20Moses%20Stern.htm................... Fried has a habit of taking campaign contributions from crooks and slumlords and then denying that he knew about the contributions! My daddy used to say. "Look at what they do and don't listen to what they say" His actions speak louder than his words. http://www.preserveramapo.org/Spring%20Valley/david_fried_tied%20to%20Moses%20Stern.htm
Watchdog September 25, 2013 at 01:02 AM
fried http://www.preserveramapo.org/Spring%20Valley/david_fried_tied%20to%20Moses%20Stern.htm
Tony T September 25, 2013 at 08:02 AM
I have contacted the Town concerning illegal apartments in my area and no action has been taken on any of them. It is a total waste of time!
Watchdog September 25, 2013 at 08:19 AM
Tony, you are correct....they do nothing...Gromack says he needs permission to go into the home...and if you are doing something illegal, like creating a boarding house, you will not give your permission. I always thought when you break the law, the authorities can come after you without your permission? Not so in Gromacks Clarkstown. There could be 8 cars in the driveway and 6 filled garbage cans outside on a consistent basis and Gromack will still do nothing.
Andrew Wiley September 25, 2013 at 08:21 AM
The big issue is not so much the illegal apartments. The high property taxes and inequitable assessments that negatively affect property owners levied by the county,towns, villages in Rockland County. How many people are living pay check to pay check trying to care of their family.Lets keep it real there is only so much money working families have to pay for the privilege of living in Rockland.
Tony T September 25, 2013 at 08:34 AM
No it is the illegal apartments....most are not owner occupied and are sub divided into 3 or 4 fire traps illegal apartments. So what you have is an owner collect rent on a single family house and collecting rents on 4 apartment's.....believe me these owners are not living pay check to pay check.
Watchdog September 25, 2013 at 08:34 AM
Some Single Family Homes homes in Clarkstown with two kitchens and additional bedrooms are taxed as two family homes, while officially designated as a SFR. Conklin says she taxes them as Two Family Homes because "the did the work" BUT do not have Two separate doors into the home, ignoring the garage entrance. They have answers for everything.....but no solutions. If it walks and quacks like a duck, it is NOT a duck in Gromacks Clarkstown. Change the law, take the test, run for office, they say. What a bunch of crap as we are taxed out of our homes.
Robert Guttman September 25, 2013 at 08:38 AM
I don't see how anyone could possibly trust either one of these slimy party hacks, Fried and Day. This isn't a choice of which is the better candidate, it's simply another case of trying to determine which candidate is the least odious. In this particular election, that isn't going to be easy.
Tony T September 25, 2013 at 08:46 AM
You can have a 2 family if it is designated a mother daughter other than that, not sure if but I think they are illegal. I think what the issue is more with "flop houses: where a single family has been cut into 4 or five units to accommodate our illegal immigrant population.
Lanimilbus September 25, 2013 at 09:48 AM
Watchdog, didn't Ed Day take money from Moses Stern too? "I DON'T KNOW INC"? 7/18/06, 5/20/07, both dates, Ed Day received contributions. Where's your outrage? And why is aligning himself with Alan Simon, the former head of the Ramapo Building Department? I heard Simon's helping Day get the bloc...
Defender September 25, 2013 at 10:19 AM
Lanimilbus, you're not the brightest. "I don't know" was Greg Brie, who gave money to literally every politician at the time before it was determined that he was actually running a ponzi scheme. And as soon as Ed and every other politician who got that money found out, they gave it back. Fried waited until he was called out publicly on Moses Stern to give that money back.
Jimmy R September 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM
Lanimilbus, more pathetic attempts from the anti-Day crew, huh? What's next on the list...a claim that Day once farted and caused Hurricane Sandy? At least we see where's Fried's hot air is coming out of - his mouth
John Leopoldo September 25, 2013 at 07:25 PM
So Mr Fried gets an in-kind donation of $650 and Mr Schoenberger gets about $50,000 in contributions from an alleged funneling scheme from a local businessman, can someone explain why the $650 donation will probably get more attention from the authorities? Just because Mr Schoenberger is now out of the running for County Executive, he still is a County Legislator.
Watchdog September 25, 2013 at 07:55 PM
John, Brega is not a crook, the other guy is. You know that.
John Leopoldo September 25, 2013 at 08:11 PM
I have no use for either, buying politicians just disgust me, and to be arrogant about it makes me sick. If the FBI is indeed all over Rockland, when do they step in?
John Leopoldo September 25, 2013 at 08:15 PM
By the way, now that Mr Schoenberger is not running for CE, why not return the money to those employees that contributed almost $50,000?

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