Best of the Week — First Winner
AP Exclusive: Kushner organization routinely filed false NYC housing documents
It started with a tip about tenants being harassed at a cluster of New York apartment buildings owned by Jared Kushner's family.
Bernard Condon, a New York-based business writer, began reporting the story last year, visiting buildings and interviewing the tenants, some of whom told similar stories of being subjected to loud construction at all hours, dust, rodents, lead paint in the air and heat suddenly shut off in the winter. Then, some were approached with offers of money to get them to move so the company could install higher-paying tenants.
But the tip did not truly develop until a tenant advocate source told Condon that Kushner Cos. had filed false paperwork for two buildings elsewhere in the city that made it easier to harass tenants during construction. Further, the organization had filed paperwork saying it had zero rent-regulated tenants in buildings throughout the city when, in fact, it had hundreds.
If the Kushner Cos. had disclosed those rent-regulated tenants, it could have triggered stricter city oversight, including possibly unscheduled "sweeps" on site by inspectors to keep the company from harassing tenants.
For dogged reporting that exposed the falsehoods of a company led by the president's son-in-law and trusted adviser, Condon earns the Beat of the Week.