Written by DML
Below is a very important report which I ask you to please share on your social media accounts. The story stems from SILIVE.com
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A special prosecutor on Monday dropped criminal charges against a former chairwoman of the borough Conservative Party accusing her of unlawfully evicting a Muslim tenant from her Eltingville apartment and stealing from the woman.
Mary Lou Shanahan, 55, was arrested on Oct. 4, 2015, and charged with illegally removing everything from Hasna Jalal’s apartment, including TVs, furniture, sofas, a bed, kitchen appliances and other personal items three days earlier. She was also accused of changing the apartment’s locks.
Jalal was living on the third floor of Shanahan’s home.
Jalal, who later sued Shanahan unsuccessfully in Brooklyn federal court, had moved in about a month earlier, court papers said.
In her civil suit, Jalal alleged Shanahan had disparaged her when she heard Jalal speaking on the phone with Moroccan relatives in her native tongue, called her offensive names and threatened her.
Shanahan was charged in the criminal case with felony counts of grand larceny and stolen-property possession. She was also accused of misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass, unlawful eviction, petit larceny and stolen-property possession.
Then-Acting District Attorney Daniel Master recused himself in the case and applied for a special prosecutor because he was acquainted with Shanahan.
Shanahan was elected chairwoman of the borough’s Conservative Party in September 1998 and served a two-year term, according to Advance reports.
The prosecution was assigned to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.
The felony charges were subsequently dismissed, but the misdemeanor charges remained.
The misdemeanor counts were tossed Monday at a proceeding in Criminal Court, said Joseph Sorrentino, Shanahan’s criminal defense lawyer.
“We presented voluminous evidence of the unreliability and lack of veracity of the complainant,” Sorrentino said.
“This case should never have been brought,” said Sorrentino. “It’s my opinion the authorities, particularly the New York City Police Department, took the path of least resistance and they arrested the law-abiding, hard-working, tax-paying landlord because the tenant was playing the race/ethnicity card, and she alleged she was being victimized by the landlord because she’s a Muslim. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The only victim here was Ms. Shanahan.”
A spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney’s office confirmed the criminal charges were dismissed but declined further comment.
Jalal contended in the $1.2 million suit that neighbors told her Shanahan and her landscaping employees took a $35,000 Hermes bag, a $35,000 Rolex watch, a $15,000 24-karat gold necklace, $6,000 worth of flat screen televisions, and an $8,000 Louis Vuitton luggage set from her apartment.
A Brooklyn federal court jury was not convinced and in February voted in Shanahan’s favor.
Besides rejecting Jalal’s claim, the panel awarded Shanahan $16,570 on her counterclaims of fraudulent inducement, slander and property damage, online federal court records show.
In May, District Judge Carol Bagley Amon denied Jalal’s motion for a new trial.
Jalal has appealed to a federal appellate court.