By Mary Ann Miller and Cynthia Chaffee
You can ask any Croman tenant, “Has anything changed since Steve Croman went to jail?” and you’ll get a resounding, “NO.” And why should anything have? Steve Croman is still in charge and, rumor has it, he’s running the business by cell phone from his cell—giving new meaning to ‘cell phone.’ We still don’t know where he is being held. However, wherever he is, a tenant from Mott Street said, “I bet he has heat and hot water.” When two Croman tenants meet, the first thing they ask each other is, “You got heat?”
It follows the usual Croman agenda: no heat; no hot water; no gas in some buildings; no repairs; no supers living in the buildings (or within 200 feet, as the law requires); leases not offered, or returned late, or returned with no signature or just a circle scribbled where an authorized signature should be, or not returned at all; rent overcharges; fuel pass-along overcharges (which are the norm); false claims of rent arrears, some amounting to thousands of dollars; continual frivolous lawsuits; and harassment of tenants.
As we said, nothing’s changed.
Another Thanksgiving will have come and gone, and many Croman tenants will again have been without gas to cook their holiday meals. Did Steve Croman have an oven-cooked turkey dinner? Why is it that so many Croman buildings have no gas?
Another landlord whose tenants have lacked gas for years is Jared Kushner. Both Croman and Kushner buy buildings with many rent-regulated units, and then proceed to empty them by any means necessary.
On Monday, December 11th, 2017, the civil part of the Attorney General’s two-pronged attack against Steve Croman will begin in the courtroom of Shlomo S. Hagler, the notoriously landlord-friendly presiding judge. In addition, Joel Cohen is representing Steve Croman. Cohen also represents Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the New York State Assembly, famous for being one of ‘three men in a room’ in Albany, and infamous for controlling the judicial system in New York City. Hagler plus Cohen make everybody doubt that we can expect a fair trail.
As of the writing of this article, we do not know whether Steven B. Croman is at Rikers or still in The Tombs. The only way we were able to find out anything about him was through his birth date, September 12, 1966. What we know for sure is that he’s listed under the name ‘Steven Crowman’—Is this a deliberate attempt to cover up his criminal history?
Also on trial December 11th is Anthony Falconite—whom Croman referred to as his ‘Secret Weapon’—a former cop who forces himself into tenants’ apartments under false pretenses, photographing the apartment and occupants without showing his identification but demanding they show theirs. His prey are the elderly or those who speak little or no English.
Come to the Supreme Court, Civil Term at 10:00 a.m. on Monday December 11th (60 Centre Street, Part 17, Room 335) to witness further injustices to tenants, or (hopefully) The Fall of the Croman Empire.
Cynthia Chaffee and Mary Ann Miller are the founders of the Stop Croman Coalition, which was established on Bastille Day, July 14, 2007.