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P’Park Residence raised fees, tried to evict seniors amid court battle

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The owner of an embattled Park Slope old-folks home raised his tenants’ rent after cutting services and conditions in the home, then tried to evict the old timers for refusing to pay the increased rates, say lawyers for the residents.

The seniors, who are in the middle of a court battle with Prospect Park Residence owner Haysha Deitsch over his attempt to evict them a year ago, say he jacked up their fees by 15 percent four months ago, then slapped them with eviction notices when they refused to pay.

Kings County Supreme Court Judge Wayne Saitta on June 30 ruled that Deitsch can’t just kick his tenants out willy-nilly while the lawsuit is going on, and lawyers for the residents say they will continue to pay the original rates and are confident they won’t be booted out.

“We have good protection here,” said Jason Johnson, who is representing the seniors and their families.

Deitsch first attempted to close the facility in March last year so he could sell the building for $76.5 million, giving his 130 residents three months to scram — a plan the state Department of Health approved. But a handful of the seniors refused to leave, and their relatives sued Deitsch and the state, claiming the closure scheme was illegal and inadequate. The court ordered Deitsch to keep the residence open and continue providing services for the holdouts throughout the litigation.

Deitch’s attorney says that the rent increase was justified given the cost of keeping the nine-story home building up and running for the seven tenants who are now left, and are scattered amongst the more than 100 rooms. He claims the seniors have refused to leave their current apartments to move onto the same floor, or allow Deitsch to rent out the empty rooms to help pay for operating costs.

“Is it unreasonable under those circumstances to raise the fees a little bit?” said Joel Drucker. “One might argue they should be paying for the cost of having the facility open.”

But the residents’ friends and family say, if anything, the fees should go down. They claim the nursing home has cut the services and conditions they signed on for, including serving shoddy meals, failing to bathe residents regularly, cutting staff, and, most recently, refusing to turn on the central air conditioning during the summer months.

“There certainly has been a decline in services,” said Nancy Richardson, whose friend AnneMarie Mogul lives in the facility. “Why should they be having to pay?”

Saitta handed the residents another victory on July 1, throwing out a motion Deitsch and the state had filed last year to dismiss all of the charges against them. The seniors’ loved ones and legal team said they are delighted with the decision.

“This is a good thing,” said Johnson. “We can now move forward with the case.”

Local pols joined in the chorus.

“We celebrate Judge Saitta’s decision, and will continue to support the residents as they move forward to have their day in court,” said Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope), who has long rallied alongside the seniors.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at ahobbs@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Sherlock from Scotland Yard says:
I keep reading articles about this death trap and attorney general schneiderman does nothing.

Why?
July 11, 2015, 4:24 pm
Jeff from Park Slope says:
A multi million dollar developer will never get any trouble from Schneiderman. The buck stop with schneiderman.
July 11, 2015, 5:10 pm
Family Member of A PPR Victim from Park Slope says:
Shame on the Attorney General...

In 2008 the prominent African-American Judge Phillips froze to death in an unlicensed floor in PPR disingenuously purporting to be a certified dementia unit. It was called “Essentia” and it was a sham.

Why…regarding the Prospect Park Residence eviction notice, did the AG say as quoted in the NY Times on March 24th, 2014 he was “looking very carefully at the situation.” and “It is very hard to argue that it is reasonable conduct to tell vulnerable seniors you have 90 days to get out of your homes,” he said, declining to say more because “it is an ongoing matter.”…and yet, with all due respect to Mr Schneiderman…he's been missing ever since…?

Why has the AG allowed this perpetrator to get away with what he has wrought… ? He is being monetarily enriched after contributing to suffering and death… is this what our justice system is supposed to permit?

We know AG Schneiderman cannot give us back our loved ones…but he can give those who were harmed, their overdue justice. We feel we have been deserted.
July 11, 2015, 7:26 pm
Interested Observer from Clinton Hill says:
It seems like the Attorney General must be protecting the failed NYS Dept of Health...or why else would Schneiderman be running the other way? Judge Saitta called it like it is...a landlord victimizing old people ...an agency-the DOH- that failed to protect them...and not a peep out of the Attorney General...how come???

Deceptive practices...constructive fraud...Dept of Health complicity...sounds like pretty good reasons for investigation and prosecution...?

Didn't the Attorney General say on Nov 8, 2014 about the Salvation Army’s impending sale of the Manhattan Williams Assisted Living Facility : “The Salvation Army’s proposed sale will result in stress, disruption and relocation for elderly residents of the building they now call home” and filed a motion to stop the sale…where was he after the Prospect Park Residence eviction was announced…? He seems to have ignored the Prospect Park Residence rout by the owner/operator Haysha Deitch…a luxury building developer …like his father-in-law…the already apprehended Shaya Boymelgreen. Why would this be any less “stressful”…any less “disruptive”… ?

Lots of seniors vote...this is not only a moral failure...it's dumb politics.
July 11, 2015, 8:03 pm
Diogenes from The 'Hood says:
In Feb a new big deal "Task Force" announcement:

"Attorney General Schneiderman, de Blasio will announce effort to go after owners who use illegal tactics to force out tenants'

AG...you blew this one..step up now or plan to have this failure haunt you.
July 11, 2015, 8:16 pm
Family Member of a PPR Victim from Windsor Terrace says:
It is a privilege to have a loved one live into extended old age and also a special responsibility. Witnessing the age-related diminishment of a loved one is very difficult under any circumstances but the added difficulty of seeing them suffering unnecessarily, makes these circumstances especially frustrating.

I'm glad there has been some protection for the residents of Prospect Park Residence and work toward having their rights respected and upheld while dealing with a business owner and department of health who have demonstrated that they had other priorities. I'm glad that our system of justice is working to try to keep the residents protected from those other priorities.

With all due respect Mr. Schneiderman, what are your priorities? Isn't one of them to enforce the laws meant to protect some this state's most vulnerable citizens? Leaving the lawbreakers in this case un-prosecuted, will serve as a dangerous example to others who intend to profit at the expense of the lives of some of the most vulnerable.
If there is only impunity in this situation -- that will be the message sent.
July 11, 2015, 9:10 pm
Annie from Greenwood Heights says:
The law does not apply to Schneiderman campaign donors.
July 11, 2015, 9:46 pm
David from Park Slope says:
How can seniors be treated like this
July 11, 2015, 10:46 pm
Tzvi Mandelbaum from Crown Heights says:
Haysha Deitch or Deitsch? Shalom, Haysha! I see you have read the Talmud very well, your lawyer also.

Scheiderman, Cuomo, Ken Thompson, DeBlasio-- hell, even preening blowhard Charles Schumer, and yes, it's not his 'job' but when his that stopped him before?

NONE of them give a damn and one can only hope ** they ** suffer equally in time.
July 12, 2015, Midnight
AG Schneiderman Skeptic from Wherever Old New Yorkers Live says:
Believe it or not...the following are the HEADLINES in AG Schneiderman's just emailed Newsletter:

"Restoring Public Trust With A New Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit"

"Holding Public Employees Accountable"

"Bringing Justice Following A Nursing Home Tragedy"

"Protecting Consumers From Abusive Business Tactics"

Mr Schneiderman's assertion in it that "those who serve the public must be held to the highest ethical standards" is merely Public Relations hype. For those PPR elders who were deceived by Deitsch, his henchmen David Pomerantz and then Dickensian Mark Moskowitz, aided and abetted by the disreputable Dept of Health...the Attorney General is merely blowing steam.

Flawed performance by the AG.
July 12, 2015, 9:58 am
Renee from Brooklyn Heights says:
Eric Schneiderman is a politician.

And you expected what?
July 12, 2015, 11:38 am
13th street Resident from Brooklyn, New York says:
Schneiderman wants to run for Governor against Cuomo.

Whats the difference?
July 12, 2015, 6:25 pm
Nancy from Park Slope says:
My friend was allowed and encouraged to move into the Prospect Park Residence two months after the owner had already applied to the NYS Department of Health to close the Residence to convert it into condos. Isn't that fraud? Why doesn't Attorney General Schneiderman investigate?
July 12, 2015, 8:13 pm
Janice from Dyker Heights says:
Investigate Schneiderman
July 12, 2015, 9:05 pm
Bernie from Vermont says:
Greed !!!
July 12, 2015, 10:42 pm
Poweder from Prospect Heights says:
Life is for the young, not the old. Most of these people don't even know where they are. Why not move them to cheaper real estate in the Bronx?
July 13, 2015, 4:53 am
Devil's Advocate from Park Slope says:
What if Schneiderman has "failed" to investigate because the landlord here isn't doing anything illegal? Unethical perhaps, but not illegal.
July 13, 2015, 9:07 am
No Enforcement Schneiderman from Hiding in Albany says:
Prospect Park Residence pretended to have a licensed dementia floor...it was NOT licensed...people died...including Judge Phillips.

If you go to a hospital and it isn't one and you die...they get investigated.

If an elder care facility that promises you can age in place even while they put in for closure, rips off an old person...that is DECEPTIVE PRACTICES and FRAUD...it's not only "unethical"...it is ILLEGAL.
July 13, 2015, 9:15 am
Santo from Eastern Parkway says:
All the politicians support the seniors but the nursing home gets away with it?
July 13, 2015, 11:07 pm
Truth Teller from The Truth says:
Santo doesn't real care about seniors - she's a nurse who wants to get a job at this home!
She loves that it's run poorly because she is very lazy, and wants a job where she can just sit on her over-sized butt from morning until night. Her only requirement is extra reinforced chairs to suuport her massive butt parts.
July 14, 2015, 6:34 am
Eve from Manhattan says:
My Dad was on the Dementia unit (and I use the term loosely) for 10 months before I was forced find a new facility and move him AGAIN. There were people being moved into the unit up to a month before they announced it was closing. If not illegal, that is cruel, immoral and unethical. People with dementia decline more quickly with major life changes. There should be some accountability and I applaud the Seniors who stayed and continue to bring attention to this horrible and cruel situation.
July 14, 2015, 11:12 am
Denise from Linden Blvd says:
Eric Adams is having a public forum to hear about slumlords.

Maybe Eric should try reading a newspaper.
July 14, 2015, 8:17 pm

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