I have always said that the people one usually has to watch out for the most is their own family. This sentiment might not have been in the minds of some members of the Hemmerdinger clan previously, but it sure is presently. It turns out that two half brothers are suing the current MTA Board Chairman & others for “siphoning” millions from a building own by the chairman’s real estate company, ATCO Properties. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more in this report:
The man who runs New York’s transit system is at the center of a blue-blood battle over a Midtown high-rise his family claims he used as a personal piggy bank.
Dale Hemmerdinger’s half brothers, Charles and Monroe, claim in a new lawsuit that the MTA chairman and others “siphoned” more than $2.2 million from 555 Fifth Ave. by nickel-and-diming the building with management fees over the last four years.
The suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, says Hemmerdinger enriched his son and daughter by appointing them to senior, well-paying posts at ATCO Properties – part of the real-estate conglomerate he heads.
ATCO also rented substantial space in the building at below-market rates, the suit alleges.
The building is owned by a limited partnership with dozens of investors, including the Hemmerdingers and ATCO.
Hemmerdinger “continues to use the limited partnership and assets of the limited partnership not only to enrich himself personally, but also to enrich his daughter and his son,” the lawsuit claims.
Click here for the complete report.
This should be a very interesting case for transit watchers to follow. This is not the first time ATCO Properties has been mentioned on this blog. The initial mention of them concerned the visible nepotism that was occurring with the rerouting of a bus route to serve a shopping mall owned by the company. Cases such as this do nothing to kill the notion that the people running the MTA are money grubbing individuals.
xoxo Transit Blogger