Followup: Essex Street Market Vendor Sues City, Alleging Discrimination
As we reported a couple of days ago, a longtime vendor in the Essex Street Market is fighting a decision from the city to force her from the retail facility. This afternoon, there’s new information.
Earlier this fall, the Economic Development Corp. (EDC), which operates the market, decided not to renew the permit for Three Brothers Clothing. The owner of the business, Carmen Salvador, said market management told her the decision was made because the clothing store had been closed too frequently in recent months. Citing ongoing medical problems, Salvador has been fighting the decision in court.
A short time ago, we received a press release from MFY Legal Services, which is representing Salvador. It indicates that she has filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court accusing the EDC of “arbitrary and capricious actions and violating her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other anti-discrimination laws.” According to Salvador’s attorney, David Ureña,“Ms. Salvador is considered disabled under the law and should have been given a reasonable accommodation.” He added, “the EDC has violated federal, state and city laws by abusing its discretion in this matter.” Ureña has asked for a temporary restraining order stopping the city from renting the Essex Market stall to another business.
We have a call into the EDC for comment about the lawsuit. Previously, a spokesperson told us the agency could not address the specific reasons for its decision (due to the ongoing legal proceedings) but said Salvador was given “multiple opportunities” to address the EDC’s concerns.
Salvador has been receiving help from Good Old Lower East Side, a neighborhood tenant rights organization.
UPDATED 11/22/2013 A city law department spokesperson said:
“Because the matter is in litigation, we cannot address these claims in detail. We will be responding appropriately to the court. However, we strongly dispute Ms. Salvador’s version of events and allegations that the EDC violated the law.”