Earlier this month, Neal Milano, the property manager of a 47-unit condo building in Sunnyside, Queens, was arrested for allegedly and repeatedly “following, yelling obscenities at, grabbing and pulling a 43-year-old woman" who was a former resident of the condo, according to the New York Daily News.
Before his arrest, Milano was already under media scrutiny in late August for allegedly decorating his building's lobby with pictures of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, among other disturbing images. According to the New York Post, in addition to the depictions of the aforementioned dictators, “two finger-pointing Uncle Sam statues flank the door of the building at 47-55 39th Place in Sunnyside, while inside, the lobby is filled with an eccentric hodgepodge of hyper-patriotic posters supporting the NRA and President Trump, alongside one of Martin Luther King and a 9/11 mural.” The article also said that “the building's directory is littered with names of people who don't live there – including Nazis Rudolf Hess and Josef Mengele.”
Additionally, Milano is not only the property's manager, but also allegedly the head of the condo board. In the aforementioned Post article, Milano's lawyer is quoted as saying that the lobby's displays have been approved by the “board managers,” none of whom were identified. According to media reports, some of the residents claimed that Milano’s management style has kept them in fear.
Signs of Trouble
Given what has been reported so far, it is difficult to imagine how this Queens condo ended up in this situation. So what happened?
“I assume that, when people moved into this situation, they asked questions, and were told that there were no meetings, no minutes, no real board,” says Andrew P. Brucker, a partner with the law firm of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP, in Manhattan. “Yet they still bought into the building, knowing that there was dysfunction."