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 TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE's adviser and son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck Dershowitz: With 'Mideast Marshall plan,' Abbas can help — or hurt — Palestinians Palestinian leaders reject Kushner's economic plan for region 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."