New York City’s longest-serving congressman won’t pay his rent.
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.
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.
When The Post last week inquired about the year of missing rent, Rangel’s office and OGS blamed federal sequestration, not the lost lease referenced in agency correspondence.
“As everyone knows, the GOP sequester not only constrained our nation’s economy, but also strained the budget of congressional offices,” said Rangel spokeswoman Hannah Kim.
So typical of a Democrat to fail to take personal responsibility for their own actions, isn’t it – and furthermore, to blame Republicans? Wouldn’t be the first time for Charlie the hypocritical tax cheat, and I doubt seriously it will be the last.
Voters in his district should demand he pay back every red cent for last year’s rent on his district office. But they won’t – because they’ve had numerous chances to kick this guy out of office, yet keep voting him back in every time. Oh well.