MOTION OF 93 MANDELA RESIDENTS
TO INTERVENE AND REMOVE TRUSTEE GRAY
09/02/97 Doc # 600-1 EOD 09/02/97
Kenner J. Order On [537-1] Motion Of 93 Mandela Residents To Intervene and Remove Trustee Gray. FOR THE REASONS SET FORTH IN THE SEPERATE MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ISSUED TODAY,
THE MOTION OF 93 MANDELA RESIDENTS TO INTERVENE AND REMOVE TRUSTEE GRAY IS HEREBY STRICKEN WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO BEING REFILED WITH PROPER SIGNATURES ON THE MOTION ITSELF AND VALID CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE. Entered on 9.2.97
09/02/97 Doc # 599-1 EOD 09/02/97
Kenner J. Memorandum Of Decision On [537-1] Motion Of 93 Mandela Residents To Intervene and Remove Trustee Gray. I CONCLUDE THAT THE MOTION IS UNSIGNED AND THUS VIOLATES RULE 901 l(a);2 THAT IT IS NOT SUPPORTED BY A VALID CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE, AND, FOR BOTH REASONS. THAT THE MOTION SHOULD BE STRICKEN. DENIAL OF THIS MOTION IS WITHOUT PREJUDICE; IT MAY BE REFILED WITH PROPER SIGNATURES AND A VALID CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE.THE COURT MAKES NO RULING WHATSOEVER ON THE MERITS OF THE MOTION. SEE MEMORANDUM OF DECISION FOR COMPLETE TEXT.
UNITED STA TES BANKRUPTCY COURT DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTES (EASTERN DIVISION)
Chapter 11 NO: 96-10123-CJK
MOTION OF 93 MANDELA RESIDENTS TO INTER VENE AND REMOVE TRUSTEE GRAY
To Chief Judge Carol J. Kenner.
We, the undersigned residents of Mandela, move to intervene in this bankruptcy to protect our interests and present our position and advise the Court that the current Chapter 11 Trustee, Stephen Gray, and his management, Gilbralta Associates, have not addressed or been responsive to our concerns, has let the property deteriorate, has not made necessary repairs, and we feel that a change is needed. Furthermore, we do not acknowledge Kirk Jackson as our attorney or Glenn Hal as our representative or President.
We ask the Court to appoint an independent attorney for us so that we may effectively participate and make our positions known to the Court, and to consider a change in the Trustee anc site managers for the reasons stated in Thelma Barros' August 4,1997 letter to the Inspector General of Investigation, Ray Carolan (see Exhibit "A"). Finally, we respectfully ask that the Court disallow Beacon Residential Properties to manage the property as well, for they are in association with Trustee Gray.
Respectfully filed by,
The undersigned Mandela Residents
(signatures on following pages)
August 4. 1997
1855 Washington Street,
Boston, MA 02120
Special Agent In Charge For
Inspector General of Investigation
10 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02222-1092
In Re: Request of the Mandela residents/or investigation of Stephen S. Gray, Trustee/or the Mandela development/or the mismanagement of federally subsidized funds, for endangering the lives and safety of the Mandela residents, and for the deliberate devaluation of the Mandela development, a 276 unit complex that houses over 1,500 section 8 residents.
I am writing to you with great concern for the well being of the Mandela residents. The injustice that has been bestowed upon the Mandela residents for the last sixteen months by Stephen Gray, Trustee for the Mandela development is insurmountable and, frankly, disgusting.
The Trustee, Stephen Gray, was appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on April 2, 1996 despite the fact that under 11 U.S.C. sec. 1121(b) the Debtor, V&M Management Inc., had five additional weeks to file a plan to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
The Trustee has submitted interim reports to the Bankruptcy Court on the alleged status of the Mandela Apartments ("the property"), a 276 unit low income residential housing development in the Lower Roxbury section of the City of Boston, since his appointment. The Trustee has retained a management agent to manage the property; an attorney, Paul Moore, to ostensively represent the interest of the Debtor, the creditors and the tenants; and has placed in the public domain a Request For Proposals (RFP) for the purchase and rehabilitation of the property.
The Trustee, in an act of supreme confidence in his own abilities, yet what ultimately has been proven to be a serious corruption of the RFP process, accepted his own plan for ownership and rehabilitation of the property, originally in conjunction with UDC/TCB (which failed miserably), and now with Beacon Residential Properties.
During the last twenty months, the Trustee has continuously sabotaged the Mandela residents' efforts to organize and meet in a peaceful manner by shutting down the twenty year old, HUD funded. Community Room. The Trustee had also set aside, for his personal and administrative fees, specially appropriated federal money that was allocated by HUD to the development, and that was only to be used for specific purposes such as installing a new sprinkler system throughout the development, setting up a new Computer Learning Center, and rehabilitating the Mandela Community Room.
A Motion was filed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court by myself on behalf of the Mandela residents, compelling the Trustee to begin installing the new sprinkler system, which was illegally absent from the development.
The Trustee had received approximately $250,000 from HUD, designated only for the purpose of installing the new sprinkler system, and failed to do so for many months, thus endangering the lives of the Mandela residents by subjecting them to serious fire hazards. The Attorney General's Landlord-tenant Regulations at 940 CMR 3.17(1X0 state that it is an unfair and deceptive act or practice to fail to comply with the State Sanitary Code or any other law applicable to the conditions of a dwelling unit within a reasonably time after notice of a violation of such code or law from the tenant or agency. Additionally, HUD regulations at 24 CFR sec. 886.323(a) require a Section 8 housing owner (or Trustee) to maintain and operate the project so as to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing. The Trustee was well aware of the fire hazard, and had already received the money allocated by HUD for the new sprinkler system months before he even began to install it. It took several Motion to the Bankruptcy Court to force Judge Kenner to order the Trustee to install the new sprinkler system approximately 7 months after he had
received the allocated money" from HUD.
A Motion was also filed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court by myself and on behalf of the Mandela residents, asking the Court to compel the Trustee to allow access to the Community Room, and to prevent the Trustee to set up the Computer Learning Center, (the way he wanted to), without the approval of the Court. The basis was that the Trustee was receiving approximately $10,000 a month, designated only for the construction of the Computer Learning Center, and, after seven months of collecting the $10,000 monthly installment ($70,000), he had not spent a dime of it on the Computer Learning Center.
On October 17, 1996, Judge Kenner of the Bankruptcy Court ordered Trustee, Stephen Gray to make the Community Room available to the Residents by giving us the key so that we may conduct meetings in a peaceful manner, and to begin construction on the Computer Learning Center.
On or about October 25, 1996,1 was called to a meeting in progress about the Computer Learning Center. I went to the meeting and as President of the Cooperative Association, and did not agree with what the Trustee was proposing. Between the 17th and the 31 of October 1996, several calls were made to the Trustee to gain access to the Community Room. On October 31, 1996,1 received a letter from the Trustee claiming that HUD and the Mandela residents had approved the use of the Community Room to place the Computer Learning Center in. The residents were shocked over the assertion by the Trustee that the residents approved or agreed with the plan to put the Computer Learning Center in the Community Room.
The Trustee has and continues to deny access to the Community Room, disabling the residents to conduct their meetings.
According to the Attorney General, it is unlawful for the owner of a development (or Trustee) to interfere with tenants' rights. The residents believe and therefore avers, that the Trustee has willfully violated the Court order, therefore not allowing the residents to have a meeting place to discuss our concerns in a peaceful manner. The residents further aver the actions of the Trustee are disrupting and dividing the residents, forcing us to meet in hallways, on the sidewalk, or wherever we can.
Forced by the Motions filed on behalf of the residents to the Bankruptcy Court, the Trustee began construction on the Community Room, and Computer Learning Center. I later discovered that the construction of the Community Room and Computer Learning Center was being performed illegally and without a permit. The Boston Housing Court later filed a complaint against the Trustee.
Furthermore, the Trustee has neglected and abused the Mandela residents in the following manner (Again, see The Attorney General's Landlord-tenant Regulations at 940 CMR 3.17(1)(i)):
a. The Trustee has not kept up with necessary repairs of the units.
b. The Trustee has not effectively exterminated insects and rodents.
c. The Trustee has given gallons of paint to the residents so we may paint our own units. This would put money in the Trustee's pocket that would have otherwise been spent on labor.
d. The Trustee has failed to comply with the waiting list, and has allowed people he knows from other developments to move into uni^s before those who have patiently waited.
e. Vacancies have gone up anywhere from 15%-20% since the Trustee was assigned to manage the property.
f. Doors are in terrible condition and graffiti has increased tremendously throughout the development and in the elevators.
g. The Trustee has evicted most of the Latino community and very few remain. h. Trash continues to blow around the outside premises near the dumpsites.
i. When residents want to move into a larger apartment, the Trustee illegally recharges a new deposit fee; a fee that was already paid by the resident when he/she moved into the building.
While the property has been and continues to be in desperate need of repair, the Trustee has approximately $1,060,000 in an escrow account that he has received periodically from the federal rent subsidies, and complains that there isn't enough money to pay for the necessary repairs. Also, the Trustee ridiculously claims that the value of the 276 unit property is only $100,000. Finally, the Trustee has just recently filed a fee application to the Bankruptcy Court for approximately $1,000,000 for his attorney, Paul Moore, and himself. Isn't it ironic that the Trustee's fee application is ten times more than what he claims the entire development is worth?
On behalf of the Mandela residents, I pray for and respectfully request a thorough investigation of Stephen S. Gray for the reasons stated above in this complaint.
If you have any questions, please call me at (617) 427-0355.
Governor A. Paul Cellucci Chris lamella. Head of the Probate Court Inspector General Thomas (Washington) Secretary of Housing Cuomo
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