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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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NJ Mayor Blasts Ground Zero Imam

September 14, 2010 - 12:54 PM | by: David Lee Miller

The Mayor of Union City, New Jersey blasted the Imam who wants to build a mosque and community center two blocks from ground zero for being a “slumlord.”

At hastily called news conference Union City Mayor Brian Stack accused Imam Faisal Rauf of neglecting two apartment houses and ignoring numerous citations from the Union City’s Fire and Health Departments. Mayor Stack described the Imam as “unscrupulous” and questioned his statements about wanting to help people and build bridges while his own tenants were living in “shoddy conditions.”

The mayor made his remarks outside one of the buildings owned by the Imam. On Wednesday, the city goes to court seeking to have a custodial receiver take over management of the properties. Mayor Stack said although the violations go back years, the city felt compelled to put a custodial receiver in charge of the property after the fire alarm system failed at the building located at 2206 Central Avenue. Residents at the second building owned by the Imam remain displaced because of a fire two years ago.

The mayor said the Imam was among the worst landlords in Union City and that the lawsuit had nothing to do with the controversy associated with the project the Imam wants to build in lower Manhattan. When asked to give advice to New York the Mayor warned, “any town where he (Imam Rauf) buys property, be alert, because he is not a good landlord.”

Both the Imam and his wife were not available to comment.

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