"You'll be evicted by this building!"
Residents say outbursts like that from Neal Milano were a common occurrence at the condominium building he oversaw on 39th Place in Sunnyside, Queens.
But sources tell NY1 that a city Human Rights Commission investigation is nearly complete, and what residents called a reign of terror by Milano will end.
The commission will oversee new board elections, and Milano — who lives at the building and heads the condo board — will not be eligible to run.
"Restoring some order to this complex, having a proper working board of directors that would be all new and that would free the residents here from any fear," Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said.
NY1 first exposed what was going on at the building back in August - the lobby adorned with posters of Hitler, a swastika, Mussolini, and other images that residents found offensive and intimidating; absurd and arbitrary fees, like a $100 charge for having an overnight visitor; and harassing notices like one that identified a tenant as having "a male visitor who is Asian" and a "male 6 feet 4 inches who looks like a Middle Eastern person of interest that has been sleeping over more than twenty times." The notice complains of "moaning, groaning, screaming of passion and thumping" noises in her apartment.
Residents blamed Milano.
"The violations of people's civil rights were so clear, the violence and intimidation was so obvious, the patterns repeated over and over again — those had to end," Van Bramer said.
After NY1's reports, the NYPD arrested Milano on stalking and harassment charges in September. He is due back in court next week.
The Human Rights Commission isn't commenting on its investigation, saying only that it will meet with residents next month.
But Milano's attorney Jacob Laufer tells NY1, "To avoid wasting further vital building resources fighting over mischaracterized artwork (that is historical in nature) and fending off demonstrably false and disturbing claims, the current board members have agreed not to run in the upcoming election."
"Good people are going to step up knowing that there are no reprisals, there is no retribution, and take control of this building," Van Bramer said.
He said a good place to start is by redoing the lobby to make everyone in the building feel at home.