Ethics Panel Sends Lopez Report to Legislature; Silver Reportedly Cleared of Charges

Speaker Silver at last weekend’s Firecracker Festival in Chinatown. Photo by Tim Schreier.

This week, there was some news on the ongoing investigation of the Vito Lopez sex harassment scandal and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s handling of the ordeal.  The state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics referred its recommendations to two Legislative panels but did not reveal the substance of those recommendations.

Multiple news organizations reported that Silver will not face charges as a result of the investigation.  The longtime Lower East Side Assemblyman admitted making mistakes in dealing with the sensitive situation.  He came under fire for approving payments to two of Lopez’s accusers.  As the Times noted, “there was widespread doubt that the (ethics commission) would take any action against Mr. Silver, since his appointees to the commission’s board have effective veto power over its investigations.”

PKNY Tiki Bar Faces Underage Drinking Charges

PKNY, 49 Essex Street.

It was a busy night for the NYPD on the Lower East Side.  As we already reported, the 7th Precinct delivered a restraining order to Lolita, the bar at 266 Broome Street.  The business now faces a civil lawsuit for alleged underage drinking violations.  Cops were also on the scene at PKNY, the artisanal tiki bar at 49 Essex Street.

We’re told PKNY was not forced to shut down, but its owners do have an upcoming court date to answer the city’s charges.  The violations occurred during visits by undercover auxiliary police officers.  City attorneys will likely ask the owners to beef up security and screening for underage drinkers in exchange for dropping the suit.

The bar opened as “Painkiller,” three years ago and later changed its name to PKNY due to a lawsuit.  The liquor license is listed on the State Liquor Authority’s web site under the names Richard Boccato and Sasha Petraske (the info may be outdated; Petraske reportedly sold his interest at 49 Essex long ago).  We contacted Boccato this morning for comment. No word yet.


Morning Reads: Electric Car Chargers, NYCHA Evictions Ruling, Top Chinese Restaurants

The Lower East Side is getting one of two fast 480 volt chargers as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to make New York a leader in the use of electric cars (NYT).

The New York Court of Appeals rules that NYCHA can evict tenants who lie about their income (Post).

Sheldon Silver jumps on the Obama bandwagon, raises his minimum wage proposal to $9/hour (Daily News).

The controversial new 7-Eleven on Avenue A is missing one thing: an owner (EV Grieve).

NYC 1993, the New Museum’s new exhibition, does justice to an era but, in one respect, is too timid (NYT).

Mission Chinese owner Danny Bowien declares his restaurant is over-hyped (The Daily Meal).

Manhattan’s Chinatown is well represented among the “top 10″ Chinese restaurants in New York (Village Voice).


NYPD Files Suit Against Lolita Bar For Alleged Underage Drinking (Updated 10:23 a.m.)

Valentine’s Day was not sweet for at least one Lower East Side nightlife establishment. The 7th Precinct paid a visit to Lolita Bar at 266 Broome Street last night.  You can see the results; a restraining order notice was slapped on the door.  The city has filed a civil suit alleging underage drinking at the low-key LES hangout.

According to documents, underage patrons, undercover auxiliary police officers, were served on several occasions beginning last fall.  The city filed the case in State Supreme Court; a hearing is anticipated next Tuesday, February 19.  A short time ago, Matt Friedlander, the bar’s general manager, told us Lolita was not closed down last night and they’ll be open as usual this evening.

Good Morning!

Ideal Hosiery (Film)

Ludlow and Grand Streets. Photo by Roey Ahram.

Mostly sunny today with a high of 49.  Snow showers expected tomorrow with a high of 34.   Partly cloudy and windy on Sunday for the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown and a high of 27. Enjoy the weekend!

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