- The New York City Department of Buildings has fined city developer Kushner Cos. $210,000 for allegedly falsifying construction permits at 12 of its properties between Jaurary 2013 and December 2016, National Public Radio reported. The department's actions represent a total of 42 violations. At the time of the supposed violations, Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, was reportedly running his family's business.
- The developer allegedly failed to adequately report the number of rent-regulated tenants on the permit forms, which is a requirement when buying or performing renovations. This is to help ensure that these tenants are not subjected to rent increases or that building owners don't pressure them to move in order to replace them with tenants who can afford higher rents.
- A spokesman for the Kushner Cos. denied that the firm had been assessed any fines by the department and said it paid third-party providers to complete the paperwork in question. The company said any mistakes would be corrected and that it planned to take its case before an administrative law judge.
The city's Department of Buildings is responsible for enforcing building codes and safety laws, a formidable task given the pace of construction activity in New York City. And in the department's most recent enforcement action bulletin, the scope of its job was reflected in the fines and charges it levied in July. According to the department, it issued fines in the amount of $407,050 for 38 instances of illegal building operations; 43 citations totaling $285,375 for illegal transient use of buildings; $445,000 for 37 cases of failure to safeguard construction sites and $125,000 to those who failed to perform properly as construction superintendents.
One of the largest penalties was $43,000 to one contractor for working without a permit, working outside the parameters of approved plans and failing to safeguard a construction site. The last violation citation came after a piece of wood fell from the fourth floor of the building and injured a child on the ground.
The Associated Press reported in April that the Kushner Cos. was also having problems with city officials in Jersey City. The company said that Steve Fulop, Jersey City's Democratic mayor, was against the developer's planned 66-story residential project there and played a role in the city's withdrawal of a $30 million tax incentive package. City officials claim that their hesitation on giving the project such a huge break was due to Kushner and its partner KABR Group displaying lack of follow-through by missing project deadlines, ignoring a sizeable city fee and otherwise violating its development agreement.