Published: January 14, 2014
By Michael Herzenberg
He was in danger of losing his livelihood, but a Manhattan man says that the new mayor has given his business a new lease on life. NY1’s Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
Neighbors embraced Jerry Delakas, welcoming him back to his Astor Place newsstand.
“Positively, absolutely. Business as usual,” Delakas said.
He’s excited to get back to work after the city shut him down last month.
Neighbors rallied behind Delakas. He operated the business for 27 years through a license holder, who recently died. She left him the license, but the Department of Consumer Affairs rejected her directive.
Delakas was fined $37,000 for operating without a license, and city officials padlocked his stand.
“They absolutely were dead set,” said Attorney Arthur Schwartz. “They wanted him out by the end of the year.
Delakas’ attorney said that that was the Bloomberg administration, and they saw new hope in the new mayor.
“I did meet the mayor up in Gracie Mansion,” Delakas said.
Delakas went to the open house held at Gracie Mansion a week ago Sunday. He and a supporter appealed to Mayor Bill de Blasio directly.
“I said, ‘Please, please. It’s unfair. Please, please, please look into it,'” said Kelly King, Delakas’ supporter. “And he said, ‘I know about this. It’s a great injustice.'”
So the mayor told the Department of Consumer Affairs to negotiate with Delakas.
Eight days later, according to Schwartz, “$37,000 dropped to $9,000, padlock off, Jerry gets a license for the rest of his life.”
“Thank you very much. God bless you. May God bless you, America,” Delakas said.
Delakas has nine months to pay the $9,000 in fines, and he thinks he’ll be able to do it.
The mayor’s office issued a statement saying it’s glad it could help.