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JOSEPH R. LENTOL Assemblyman 50 t h District Kings County lentolj@assembly.state.ny.us THE ASSEMBLY STATE OF

JOSEPH R. LENTOL Assemblyman 50 th District Kings County lentolj@assembly.state.ny.us

THE ASSEMBLY STATE OF NEW YORK ALBANY

November 4, 2015

Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General Office of the New York State Attorney General 120 Broadway New York, NY 10271

Dear Attorney General Schneiderman:

Chairman Committee on Codes COMMITTEES Rules Ways & Means Election Law

I write to you to call upon your office to investigate the pop-up party industry in New York City. This request is made not in opposition to the parties or party-goers themselves, but in response to a serious public safety concern the safety of those who attend these parties and the safety of the residents who reside next to where the parties take place. There is an allure for such parties in my district due to the number of abandoned industrial buildings in certain parts of Greenpoint and Williamsburg.

An incident occurred on Halloween night involving a pop-up party in an area I represent that highlights the serious problems regarding these events. Cityfox, a corporation extremely difficult to track, applied for and received approval for various permits for a large-scale party to be held at a location that is well-known to be a State Superfund site:

the former Nuhart Plastic Manufacturing Site located at 49 Dupont Street in Brooklyn. The cleanup process has not yet begun at this site and the task of identifying all the contaminants is yet to be completed. Organizing a large-scale party of this nature at this location is akin to having a pool party in Newtown Creek.

The circumstances surrounding this pop-up party raises serious questions of how the New York City Department of Buildings and New York State Liquor Authority permits were issued in just days for an event of several thousand people, and whether Cityfox submitted accurate information to the state and city permit issuing agencies. Furthermore, research about this location would have uncovered that it is a State Superfund site and is inherently unsafe for any gathering. The thought that over 4,000 people were approved to be in an old industrial building, currently a superfund site, without a sprinkler system installed, defies all rational judgment.

632 Legislative Office Building, Albany, New York 12248 (518) 455-4477 FAX (518) 455-4599 District Office: 619 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, New York 11211 (718 383-7474 FAX (718) 383-1576

There were also more immediate dangers, namely that the permitted event was for 3,500 people yet the promoters sold significantly more tickets than the Temporary Public Assembly permit allowed. I was told by the FDNY that there were also flammable materials hidden behind flammable curtains. Candidly, I am very angry over this incident; if the community had not been vigilant, a terrible tragedy could have occurred. Fortunately, the FDNY arrived on scene, took note of the public safety hazards and shut down the party at 12:00am midnight.

The effort by the FDNY to shut down this party cost taxpayers a significant amount of money and occupied first responders on Halloween, a night when there can easily be other emergencies for them to respond to. The party organizers should be responsible for these costs and for answering questions regarding the accuracy of the paperwork they filed with state and city agencies. They must also explain how they will provide refunds for the thousands of people who purchased tickets to the event.

I urge your office to conduct an investigation into the permitting process for pop-up parties and how organizers are held accountable. Specifically, I urge you to investigate how Cityfox was able to acquire, in just a few days, the necessary permits for a party of this size, let alone on a State Superfund site. Additionally, my staff attempted to contact the Cityfox organizers and was unsuccessful in reaching anyone, which leads me to believe this organization operates behind the scenes with little accountability. I am attaching all relevant permits for your convenience as well as a copy of the Facebook page in case it is taken down within the next few days.

Thank you for your attention to this serious matter.

Sincerely,

you for your attention to this serious matter. Sincerely, Joseph R. Lentol 632 Legislative Office Building,

Joseph R. Lentol

632 Legislative Office Building, Albany, New York 12248 (518) 455-4477 FAX (518) 455-4599 District Office: 619 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, New York 11211 (718 383-7474 FAX (718) 383-1576