Swig It, Baby! D.E.P.’s Dust-up

To the Editor:

Re “Kent Swig Is Everywhere” [Nov. 5]:

Kent Swig complains that elected officials wrongly accuse him of asbestos violations at the Sheffield on West 57th Street, saying, “[t]here was no asbestos in the ceiling ever.”

When the State Department of Labor issued violations on March 1, 2007, for performing asbestos work without a valid asbestos license, the inspector wrote, “The flooring mastic of all the apartments under renovation contained asbestos.”

The City Department of Environmental Protection tested 12 samples of the ceiling material on April 17, 2007, and six came back positive for asbestos.

The D.E.P. has told us that it did not “withdraw” the asbestos violation, as Mr. Swig claims. It realized the violation was issued to the wrong corporate name and is reissuing it.

Mr. Swig has been issued numerous building, fire and housing violations for running an illegal hotel at the Sheffield and for endangering tenant safety. Tenants have documented complaints of harassment, stalking, floods, cut phone lines and workers barging into tenants’ apartments without permission.

It is telling that Mr. Swig says he learned so much from his father-in-law, developer Harry Macklowe. Mr. Macklowe is “infamous,” as The New York Times called him, for his midnight illegal demolition of two buildings on West 44th Street in 1985.

Richard Gottfried, New York State Assembly Member
Jerrold Nadler, U.S. Representative
Thomas Duane, New York State Senator