Rabbi Yaakov Bryski’s name was on a “Wall of Shame” of alleged child molesters, and he was publicly accused by at least two young men of sexual abuse — but that didn’t stop Mayor de Blasio’s administration from going forward with a deal to lift a deed restriction on his Crown Heights yeshiva.
The city removed the restriction in exchange for $150,000 in 2015 and ignored $2,855 in fines owed to the Buildings Department for outstanding violations.
The rabbi then sold the Eastern Parkway building, which he bought for $21,000 in 1980, to a developer for $1.5 million.
The deed lift was one of at least eight to take place under de Blasio’s watch, public records show. All eight properties wound up in the hands of developers.
An agreement to remove a nonprofit restriction on a nursing home at 45 Rivington St. in exchange for the city getting $16 million has sparked outrage and four investigations.
While the money brought in through the other seven sweetheart deals pales in comparison to the Rivington Street pact, they illustrate the city’s lack of due diligence in facilitating the sale of properties that were once designated for the wider public good.
And it remains unknown how many such deals the city has made under de Blasio, because it refuses to release information on them.
“The mayor has made clear that mistakes were made and that the city will be making changes. However, we are not commenting on the details until the investigations are completed,” said City Hall spokeswoman Karen Hinton.
In another deal, the city helped a doctor and his office-manager wife, later indicted for running a multimillion-dollar pill mill, secure a deed lift on their First Avenue lot. The property was sold for $900,000 after they paid $110,000 to get rid of a restriction confining its use to nonprofit community services.
In July 2014, the city accepted $200,000 from a small Williamsburg co-op building in exchange for lifting a restriction that the property be used just for housing. A retail shop had been operating on the first floor of the Bedford Avenue building since 2008. The co-op “failed to disclose” the deed restriction when it got a new certificate of occupancy in 2008, according to the Buildings Department.
In the case of Yeshiva Chanoch Lenaar, allegations surrounding its rabbi have been circulating on the Internet for several years.
One of his accusers, Schneur Borenstein, took the case to the Brooklyn district attorney, but was turned down because the statute of limitations had expired. Borenstein says he briefly lived with the rabbi in 2000 and claimed Bryski crept into his room at night and fondled him.
De Blasio rep Hinton said the city Department of Citywide Administrative Services, which processed the deed transaction, did not know about the alleged abuse.
Bryski did not return a call seeking comment.