2/20/13

Eric Richmond Raises Bail

Update 2/25 :
 
In a follow-up email blast, Eric Richmond reported today that Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Donald Kurtz, without a hearing, has issued an opinion and order denying his motion to re-argue and signed a new order restating one issued on 4.24.12.
 
Richmond, represented by an attorney, said his case had been "torched" and that he planned to appeal the decision.  
 
As part of the appeal, he will seek a stay of the foreclosure order, which will require a bond in an unknown amount. He is raising money from friends and allies of the Lyceum to post the bond.   
 
You can reach him by email at info@brooklynlyceum.com.  
 
The Lyceum, a former Public Bath, was designed by Raymond Francis Almirall, designer of the Emigrant Savings Bank.
 
The facility opened on 1910 and was converted to a gym in 1937The building had been abandoned for 30 years when Richmond bought it in 1995.  He spent nearly a decade, he said, doing emergency repairs on the building 
 
 
Slowly, Richmond has brought the building back to life, creating two art galleries, two theaters, a cafe, and a music hall, and hosting film festivals, markets, conventions, lectures, classes, and events like weddings and bar mitzvahs. 
 
Richmond wants the Lyceum to continue as a public facility and cultural resource.

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According to an email blast today from embattled Brooklyn Lyceum owner Eric Richmond, the players in the Brooklyn Supreme Court foreclosure action against him include:
  • Jean Miele
  • Union Street Tower 
  • Donald LaRosa 
  • Bayside Builders 
  • ABC Realty 
  • Arthur Cornfeld 
  • David Topping 
  • Joshua Sacks 
  • David Gray, and 
  • Troutman Sanders.  
Two of these adversaries, previously hidden, were flushed out by the foreclosure action, he said.

Richmond said he faced the possibility of being jailed at a hearing tomorrow, Thursday, February 21 Friday, February 22 at 9:30 AM at 360 Adams Street in Brooklyn, for allegedly failing to obey the terms of a court order issued by Justice Donald Scott Kurtz.

He will argue in his defense that the movants have also failed to comply with the order.   He is asking friends of the Lyceum to spread the word about tomorrow's hearing.

You can email him at the Lyceum website.

In a follow-up e-mail blast, Richmond included a link to a Brooklyn Paper article he said "scratched the surface" of the Jean Miele story, denying that the Lyceum could close as early as next week.

Central to the Brooklyn Paper article, he said, is the "bad deal" he made with Jean Miele that precipitated the foreclosure.   Richmond said that Miele had so far dodged his "central allegation" that Miele "trumped up $600,000-$800,000 of bogus charges."

Those charges, according to Richmond, included:
  • About $70K in administrative fees on a vacant lot over about a 4-month period to Miele's mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and wife;
  • About $200,000 -- an average of 20 hours a day X two months -- in billings to Miele;
  • Interest on mortgages Miele has sworn under oath were paid off;
  • Interest on a mortgage Miele gave to someone other than Richmond; 
  • An amount that fluctuated from $1,080,000 to $750,000 to $1,400,000 and eventually disappeared after demands for documentation.
Foreclosure, Richmond said, would destroy more than 20 years of his life.

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