It was a bizarre story that generated local media attention last fall, including from The Cooperator: Neal Milano, property manager of a 47-unit condo in Sunnyside, Queens, was arrested in September 2017 for allegedly accosting a 43-year-old former resident of the building.
But that's just part of a larger, weirder saga. In addition to allegedly berating his neighbors and violating their personal spaces, Milano had been accused of papering the building’s lobby with pictures of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, along with other controversial Nazi- and fascist-related imagery.
As of mid-February of this year, there appeared to be a resolution surrounding those issues at the building. As the Daily News reported, the city Commission of Human Rights announced that Milano and two fellow board members were to quit their positions and remove all of the offensive images from the lobby. Additionally, those images were to be replaced by posters explaining the city's fair housing policies and basic owners' rights.
The Commission also required the association to amend its house rules to adhere to the city's Human Rights Law. A previous provision requiring owners to prove their immigration status must now be excised.
Sapna V. Raj of the law enforcement arm for the Commission of Human Rights, was quoted as saying the following: “We hope this settlement sends a strong message to housing providers citywide that New York City does not tolerate discrimination or harassment, and that we will not hesitate to take immediate action when we learn of violations.”
Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office says it plans to continue investigating the condo board for any additional New York State civil rights violations. The Cooperator will follow that initiative as it continues.
Mike Odenthal is a staff writer at The Cooperator.