Friday, December 1, 2017

Not fake news then: Pro-dorm rally organizer admits some participants were paid, report says

On Nov. 19, the Daily News reported that some of the 30 participants who showed up at a City Hall rally to support turning the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on Ninth Street into a dorm were paid extras.

The organizers strongly denied that the extras received money ($50) for their time.

Now, the lobbying group on property owner Gregg Singer's payroll admitted that the firm paid eight of the 30 participants.

This revelation came in a Thanksgiving Day email that lobbyist David Schwartz sent to The Villager.

Per the paper:

More bizarre still, Schwartz claimed he intentionally leaked the casting call for the rally to the Daily News in order to gin up media coverage of the event.

“We have been frustrated that we could not get any press for one of the biggest frauds in NYC,” Schwartz said. “A fraud that leaves a community with an empty building and it’s being perpetrated by our elected officials,” Schwartz explained, referencing Singer’s claim that now his decades-long effort to remake the former school building into a dorm has been unfairly obstructed by the Mayor’s Office, Councilmember Rosie Mendez and other local politicians, who would prefer to see the building restored as a community arts center similar to CHARAS — the nonprofit group that occupied the building when Singer bought it at auction in 1998.

In a follow-up piece at the News on Nov. 23, Singer also denied that any of the supporters were paid to attend the rally on Nov. 17. Singer also blamed those opposing his dorm project.

Per the News:

"You ever heard fake news? I think the people that are against us are twisting it — it's probably the other side that paid the money!"

The Villager noted that "Singer did not respond to requests to clarify whether he was on board with the plan to hire people to rally for his dorm."


Gojira said...

“We have been frustrated that we could not get any press for one of the biggest frauds in NYC" - given who his client is, perhaps an unfortunate choice of words?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how they can keep saying people are leaving the building empty. When you bought the fucking building, they said it could only be used a certain way. You knew this!!!!! This guy is like Trump.

cmarrtyy said...

The arrogance of money. And with this administration and his councilmatic lackeys, money wins... T-H-E M-O-N-E-Y W-I-N-S!