David Fried Releases Statement On Illegal Housing

County Executive candidate David Fried released a statement Monday that he will not stand for illegal housing and set a plan to prevent it from occurring in the future. Questions were raised when it was discovered that the Democratic candidate had accepted donations for his 2009 judicial campaign from the known housing violator and landlord Joseph Klein. According to Fried the donations were unknown to his campaign at the time, as the State Court System only allows donations to be accepted through committees set up, not by the candidate himself. David Bookstaver, spokesman for the State Court System, stated that the process of the committees is set up purposefully so that the judge candidate does not know who is contributing to their campaign, to avoid conflict. Republican candidate for County Executive Ed Day stated that he is aware of the law that prevents judicial candidates from personally accepting donations, but he is wary that a candidate wouldn’t know where their money was coming in from, especially when it is a high profile landlord with repeated offenses on his record. Klein was fined about $25,000 for illegal boarding houses throughout the county this summer. According to campaign records fried’s campaign accepted $600 worth of office space from Klein, though contributions were listed under Empire Management, Klein’s company. At the press conference that fried held Monday, he stated that he would not be accepting future funding from any landlords who indulge in illegal housing for his current campaign. In his plan to prevent illegal housing, Fried stated that he will institute county wide building codes, identify repeat offenders, add a course on housing violation penalties to judicial education courses, and pursue legislation that will strengthen penalties against landlords who violate housing codes.

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