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Rangel To Leave 1 Of His 4 Stabilized Apts

From the New York Daily News:

Ha, I beat ya to it! Rangel evicts himself from rent-stabilized apartment

Ha, I beat ya to it! Rangel evicts himself from rent-stabilized apartment

BY LEO STANDORA

Tuesday, July 15th 2008

Facing possible federal investigations, Rep. Charles Rangel said Monday he’ll evict himself from one of four dirt-cheap, rent-stabilized apartments he’s had for more than a decade.

Rangel spokesman Emile Milne confirmed his boss will give up one of his Lenox Terrace apartments, now used as an office in Harlem, but couldn’t say when the move will come.

Only last week the powerful and popular congressman appeared intent on staying put despite a storm of controversy, saying he didn’t see "anything unfair" about his situation in the W. 135th St. building.

Rent-stabilized apartments must be used as primary residences under state and city law.

Rangel’s announcement yesterday came as the National Legal and Policy Center, a Washington watchdog group, filed a complaint against him with the Federal Election Commission. Rangel, whose disclosure records show he’s worth as much as $1.2 million, paid a total rent of $3,894 a month for the four apartments in the 1,700-unit luxury development last year.

The current market rate for similar apartments in the building would run from $7,465 to $8,125 a month all told.

The policy center claims in its complaint that the years of low rent represented an illegal corporate campaign contribution from the building owner, the Olnick Organization.

If the FEC agrees, Rangel likely will be forced to pay back any rent break he got, and possibly could be hit with a big fine. He also could face an internal investigation by the bipartisan House ethics committee.

Besides the rent breaks, Rangel’s campaign committees have accepted $4,500 in campaign contributions from Lenox Terrace owner Sylvia Olnick since 2004.

The other three apartments have been combined into a penthouse suite.

You can’t expect Mr. Rangel to give that up.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 15th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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