Rangel Stiffed NY State on Office Rent

RangelWhat is it about Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and real estate? From yesterday’s New York Post:

State taxpayers were stiffed out of at least $87,000 when Rep. Charles Rangel stopped paying for the district office he rents in Harlem’s Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, records ­obtained by The Post show.

His staffers’ excuse? They lost the lease, according to state Office of General Services correspondence.

“I finally heard back from Congressman Rangel’s office and it seems we haven’t gotten the signed lease back because they lost it!” OGS real-estate specialist Sydney Allen wrote in a July 30, 2013, e-mail to a colleague that was ­obtained by The Post.

Rangel paid $7,253 in monthly rent on the 125th Street office he has rented since 2000, expense reports from 2012 show. But the payments stopped for all of 2013.

And the reaction of the New York state government, which is corrupt from top to bottom:

Incredibly, instead of demanding payment of the back rent and late fees from its deadbeat legislative tenant, the state cut him a huge rent break.

The state says it allowed Rangel in March 2013 to enter into a new sweetheart deal in which he could postpone paying six months of rent. That “abatement” money has still not been paid, nor has the other six months of missed rent from 2013, a OGS official said.

The state comptroller approved a $101,000 lease between Rangel and OGS on Dec. 26, 2013, retroactively covering the period back to April 2013 and future months through December 2014, records show. The 21-month deal resulted in a deeply reduced rent of $4,809 a month.

Rangel was censured by the full House on December 2010 by a vote of 333-79. NLPC exposed Rangel’s failure to disclose or pay taxes on rental income from a Dominican Republic beach house, which prompted Rangel to amend his disclosures to show hundreds of thousands in previously undisclosed income and assets.

In March 2010, Rangel resigned from his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee after being admonished by the House Ethics Committee for accepting corporate-funded Caribbean junkets, also exposed by NLPC. The Committees action was based on recordings, photographs, and other evidence I gathered on the junket to sunny St. Maarten.

Our pending Complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), filed in November 2010, alleges that Rangel illegally used almost $400,000 from his so-called leadership PAC to pay for his legal defense in the House ethics actions against him. (Like Rangel these days, the FEC moves pretty slow.)