Two New York Lawmakers Evicted for Not Paying Rent
Two leading state assemblywomen have more in common than being neighbors in an apartment building near the capitol -- both got evicted on the same day for not paying rent.
Deputy Speaker Earlene Hooper, of Nassau County, and Banking Committee Chairwoman Annette Robinson, of Brooklyn, both got kicked to the curb on Nov. 4 after neither Democrat showed up for court hearings.
Their failure to pay rents that are below $700 a month -- cheap by New York City standards -- was a constant frustration to their landlord -- especially because both rake in five-figure allowances in taxpayer money for living expenses while at the capitol.
"I think it's gross mismanagement and neglect on their part," said David Green, a lawyer for RSA Properties, owner of the State St. building.
"There's no way, with the money they are making, that they can't pay their rent on time. It's completely embarrassing for them."
Both lawmakers pull in well above the Assembly annual base salary of $79,500. Hooper, whose rent was $535 per month, gets an annual stipend of $25,000 for serving as deputy speaker.
She has also recently been second-to-none in the Legislature when it comes to collecting so-called per diem allowances, which are meant to cover a lawmaker's expenses, including lodging and travel.
Between 2000 and last year, Hooper, whose office is in Hempstead, L.I., snatched up a Legislature-high of $341,330 in per diem payments, state records show. And this year she has pulled in $27,254 in per diem dough, according to numbers provided by the state controller's office.
Source: New York Daily News | KENNETH LOVETT
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