Yonkers Incarcerates Another of the City’s Top Fire/Building Code Scofflaws
YONKERS, NY – February 20, 2019 – Another of the City of Yonkers’ top scofflaws and landlords, Ismael Vargas, was incarcerated today after avoiding a dozen warrants resulting from fire and housing code summonses issued by the Yonkers Fire Department and Department of Housing & Buildings. Vargas was taken into custody by court officers, transported to the Westchester County Jail and is being held for an appearance in Yonkers City Court for code violations at the properties he owns or once owned, pending the posting of bail.
“Today’s arrest proves that City means business when it comes to these serial scofflaws,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “We will continue to find these individuals and hold them accountable for their abuse of the system and mistreatment of the tenants until justice is served. We owe that to the residents.”
Mayor Spano noted that in recent weeks approximately 20 landlords kept their City Court dates to answer for various building violations, whereas in the past, no-shows were a common occurrence. “Word is getting around that if bad landlords don’t show up to answer for violations, the Police Department’s Warrant Squad will make them show up,” added Mayor Spano.
Vargas has a long history of non-compliance with warrants on his multiple properties that include 63-65 Jackson Street, 25 Radford Street, 102 McLean Avenue and 51 Lawrence Street. Violations at these properties have included no certificate of occupancy for single room conversion, illegal open wiring, unsanitary conditions and numerous other violations of the Fire and Buildings Codes.
Today’s arrest comes after the arrest of the city’s top scofflaw Aurielo Assuncao last month. Assuncao had over 70 fire and building summonses issued to him over the last eight years. Mayor Spano and Yonkers Councilwoman Corazon Pineda-Isaac in January announced plans to target landlords who ignore fire and building codes and subject their properties to condemnation. According to proposed legislation, should the condition of a building rise to the need for relocation of its residents as a result of negligent or intentional acts of the building owner and the City of Yonkers incurs expenses to house and feed the tenants, the landlord must reimburse costs incurred by the city.
There are currently over 75 property owners listed as repeat offenders of Yonkers Fire and Building Codes.