Apparently the city will stop at nothing to evict longtime Astor Place newsstand vendor Jerry Delakas. The Post reports this morning that the city has retained — for free — the services of powerhouse international law firm Proskauer Rose for the eviction process. Previously, the city used a Law Department attorney.
Said the steamed attorney for Delakas: "What this means is that while Proskauer could have used its pro-bono time toward protecting battered women or saving someone from execution, deportation or eviction. Instead, that time was taken up assisting the city in conducting an eviction!"
Delakas has been in the space for 25 years. He has been subleasing the newsstand from the family who held the license. However, in the eyes of the city, this is an illegal arrangement.
A city Law Department spokesperson told the Post: "The city must decide who can operate newsstands in a fair and evenhanded way. The fact that Mr. Delakas flouted the rules for so long cannot — and should not — be the basis for denying another vendor an opportunity that's rightfully his or hers."
As for retaining an attorney who works for a firm charging upwards of $800 an hour:
"The lawyer handling the matter worked on it while part of the city’s Public Service Program for young attorneys before she left to go into private practice," the spokesperson said. "It made complete sense for her to continue on the case given that she’d worked on it since its inception."
Does this make complete sense to you?
Read more about Jerry's situation at Jeremiah's Vanishing New York.