NYC official accuses Kushner Cos. of illegally operating buildings without certification

NYC official accuses Kushner Cos. of illegally operating buildings without certification
© Stefani Reynolds

New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres on Tuesday accused Kushner Companies of illegally operating nine buildings without a certificate of occupancy. 

“We’ve come to discover that Kushner Cos. is illegally operating buildings without a certificate of occupancy,” said Torres, who heads the Council's Committee on Oversight and Investigation. 

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“Our investigation reveals that there are nine properties in the portfolio of Kushner Cos. that have no certificate of occupancy and one of those properties has gone six years without a certificate of occupancy.”

Torres called upon the city's Department of Buildings (DOB) to take action against Kushner Cos.

“We cannot stand by idly,” he said. “No owner is above the law, not even the family of the president of the United States.”

A Kushner Cos. spokesperson told The Hill that it inherited certificates of occupancy with various issues from its prior owners. Two of the certificates in question expired when President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders says he wouldn't 'drop dead' if Trump decided on universal healthcare Overnight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Hillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license MORE's adviser and son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure to pass federal privacy law Hillicon Valley: Google bans Zoom from its work computers | Dem cautions White House against using surveillance to fight virus | Lawmakers push House leaders on remote voting MORE was the firm's CEO, according to The Associated Press

“Similar to many other landlords, we inherited from prior owners certificates of occupancy with various issues,” the company told the The Hill in a statement. “Kushner will continue the long and detailed process to work with our consultants and the Department of Buildings to correct every issue outstanding.”

A spokesman for the DOB told The Hill in a statement that it has inspected the buildings and found them to be safe. 

"DOB’s top priority is safety -- and indeed, we have inspected all these buildings or renovated units and deemed them safe to occupy," spokesman Andrew Rudansky said. 

He slammed findings referenced by Torres as "pure grandstanding."