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Harlem landlord fined $150,000 for nearly 100 lead paint violations at properties

Harlem landlord fined $150,000 for lead paint violations
Harlem landlord fined $150,000 for lead paint violations 02:00

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NEW YORK -- A Harlem landlord with nearly 100 lead paint violations has been fined tens of thousands of dollars as New York City cracks down on lead hazards. 

The city wants it to be a warning to other landlords. 

From its early days as a property once owned by the Astor family, to its scenes on the big screen in the film "New Jack City," Graham Court apartment are full of history in the worlds of fiction and reality. 

Resident Richard Memminger only wishes the lead paint violations found in his apartment since 2021 were fiction. 

"Definitely worried, not super scared ... I also supervise my nephews while they're here," said Memminger. "I try to have an inviting home and a welcoming home, and then to find out that people have been here and there was lead, it was definitely disconcerting." 

The city said this is one of at least 10 properties owned by Ezriel Weinberger where inspectors marked lead paint violations over the last few years. 

Inspectors said the violations range from recordkeeping issues to failing to remove lead paint before a new tenant moves in. 

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development said the landlord recently had to pay $15,000 fines for each building and that other landlords should take notice. 

"January is the time when they are supposed to be sending out their annual notices, doing their investigations. We hope that other landlords hear this message and come into compliance," said AnnMarie Santiago, a deputy commissioner with the department. 

Memminger said his nephews did not get lead poisoning, but he's worried about whether the problems were fixed properly. 

"I don't want to say anything disparaging about the management company, but if we're just talking about facts, it felt like they didn't care," said Memminger. 

CBS New York tried reaching Weinberger multiple times on Monday, but did not hear back. 

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