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Bronx tenants finally revolt against America’s worst slumlord — and it’s awesome

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Ved Parkash earned the award for the worst slumlord in New York City despite swearing to the Norwood News that his building is in “excellent” condition. Residents disagree and staged a protest outside the Bronx Housing Court waving signs reading “We want housing for us” and “No tenants should be harassed.”

For years, tenants in 15 Parkash-owned properties have demanded he improve living conditions. Residents have been forced to handle building problems on their own, such as rodent infestation, boiler problems and even a collapsed ceiling in a bathroom that has gone unrepaired for over a year. It collapsed on a pregnant mother. Residents report that calls to maintenance in Parkash’s office either go unanswered or the person who picks up the phone hangs up. He gets away with it with because his sons are both housing attorneys.

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Some even accuse Parkash of deliberately holding their rent checks to cash when they least expect it. “I feel like he likes to play tricks with the rent,” said Kingsbridge Heights resident Dawn Goodall. “I personally received a lease without the proper amount on it. I’ve been in court with him two or three times.”

Tenants in a Creston Avenue building had no hot water for over six months.

“We had paint buckets, washed them out, boiled it and put it in the shower,” Brigida Velenzuela recalled. “It seemed like everybody except for one didn’t have hot water.”

The one person, she said, is someone with a close relationship with Parkash.

He’s also pocketing more than $500,000 of taxpayer dollars by providing Section 8 housing.

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New York City Public Advocate Letitia James attended the tenants’ protest to meet and hear their concerns. Her office is responsible for updating the Worst Landlords Watchlist each year.

“Most of the residents are low-income residents,” she said. “A lot of them are women with children. A lot of them are senior citizens, and all they want is what everyone else wants… to live in decency and to live without these conditions.”

James’ department collects data for the list from the NYC Department of Buildings and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Parkash’s records show that he has always made the list, scoring a prime spot on the “Dirty Dozen” list of the worst, most mismanaged apartment buildings. A landlord gets on the list by having a minimum number of open violations and complaints from the departments. Of his 60 buildings in the city, many of them have complaints open.

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James spoke at the rally announcing that she was there to “lend her voice to these tenants.”

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GOP leader McCarthy swats aside Fiona Hill’s national security testimony debunking his Ukraine conspiracy theory

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On Thursday, during one of the final scheduled impeachment hearings this week, National Security Council official Fiona Hill demolished President Donald Trump's conspiracy theory that Ukraine, rather than Russia, meddled in the 2016 election, calling it a "fictional narrative" and noting that it originated with the Kremlin itself.

But in conversation with reporters, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) flatly disbelieved Hill's testimony, and insisted he still held onto the theory.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told me that he was not going to lose any GOP votes during impeachment.

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Nicolle Wallace breaks down the impeachment moment ‘women will be talking about for years’

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MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace on Thursday highlighted one of the key moments from the impeachment inquiry testimony from Dr. Fiona Hill.

"Often when women show anger, it’s not fully appreciated. It’s often, you know, pushed onto emotional issues perhaps, or deflected on other people," Hill testified.

Here's Fiona Hill on why she thinks Sondland misunderstood her anger — and how women's anger is often viewed, more generally: "It's not fully appreciated. It's often pushed off onto emotional issues." pic.twitter.com/AsMR3A9InI

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Mulvaney lawyer denies Mick was ‘so heavily involved’ — despite his White House briefing room confession

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Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was referenced multiple times during Dr. Fiona Hill's testimony Thursday, but Mulvaney's lawyer said he doesn't understand why.

"We have no idea why Ms. Hill believes Mr. Mulvaney was so heavily involved, especially in light of Ambassador Sondland’s contrary testimony," said Fox News reporter Chad Pergram, quoting a statement from Robert Driscoll.

https://twitter.com/ChadPergram/status/1197633921065930753

As former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance pointed out, Hill recalled during her testimony how angry she was about Sondland not briefing her. She said that after hearing his testimony Wednesday and learning he was briefing Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Mulvaney and President Donald Trump. She then decided he was correct-they had separate missions and Sondland was on a domestic political errand.

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