While the Imam behind plans for a mosque near Ground Zero was jetting around the globe and advocating for his Downtown project, a pair of dilapidated apartment buildings he owns in New Jersey fell into such disrepair that cops have to stand watch in the event of a fire.
The fire watch, at taxpayer expense, was revealed during a court hearing today when Union City lawyers asked to have two buildings owned by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf placed into receivership so that rent could be used to fix dozens of violations, including inoperable alarms and sprinklers.
Rauf skipped today’s hearing as did his wife Daisy Khan. Their lawyer, Tomas Espinosa, said he didn’t know why the Imam didn’t come to court.
“There have been a lot of stress on these people,” Espinosa said when asked after the hearing to explain why Rauf was a no-show “The legal process will show that my client is an honorable man that has taken care of his property.”
Asked why he was confident that Rauf would prevail, Espinosa said of the Imam, “There is integrity and character,” adding, “He is a man of peace.”
But Union City officials insist Rauf is a slumlord.