NEW YORK (TIP): She owes the city more than $265,000, but City Councilwoman Inez Dickens need not be too worried about an investigation by the council’s Ethics Committee – she chairs the panel. Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a leading mayoral candidate whom Dickens endorsed recently for mayor, ducked questions about Dickens’ debts. “I have not yet gotten to speak to council member Dickens about the reports in the paper,” Quinn said.
Critics weren’t as circumspect. One of the properties Dickens’ family company owns at 187 Lenox Ave. has enough violations to qualify for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s “Worst Landlords Watch List.” The building has 19 violations for six units, including ones for missing carbon dioxide detectors, broken bathroom outlets and vermin in the apartments. “Tenants shouldn’t face this kind of neglect from any landlord, let alone one who’s also an elected official,” said de Blasio, one of Quinn’s Democratic mayoral rivals.
Dickens’ primary election challenger, Vince Morgan, slammed her debts for code violations, taxes and water bills on four buildings she and her sister own in Harlem. The allegations reflect “a chronic pattern of code violations,” Morgan said. “As a chairperson of the Standards and Ethics Committee and a high-ranking elected official, she is held to a higher standard.”