3/16/2012

Almost a Year Later, Man Waits for $2.8M Eminent Domain Money


Almost a year later, a Queens man is still waiting for payment for his appropriated property via eminent domain by the state of New York.

More than $2.8 million is owned to the business man who had to give up his rental property so that the Maspeth community could redevelop the Kosciuszko Bridge. The man claims to be facing hardships and is now suing for his money.

Married and with four children, Sass Sheena has had no income since his building was taken last June. “Obviously you want the money from your property so you can reinvest or go into another business,” said Sheena.

The money is being held in a comptroller’s account, but why it’s being held is the question Sheena posed to his attorney when he hired him to sue. According to the attorney, the state can place the funds in such account only if there is a conflict, however no such conflict exists in his opinion.
Sheena’s attorney has contacted Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Chuck Shumer and the attorney general to no avail. Apparently this type of behavior is common in eminent domain appropriation cases in New York and Sheena’s attorney is outraged, stating “It is incredible how they’ve gotten away with what they been doing, it’s extortion.”

Just how long will it take to figure out what's going on with the funds and whether another lawsuit will have to be filed is yet unclear.