Two long abandoned homes in Kings Park, which were being considered for demolition may have received a reprieve on Tuesday when a Nassau County attorney came forward claiming he had a controlling stake in the property.
Attorney Jeffery Brown, of Merrick, told the Smithtown Town Board during a public hearing on Tuesday afternoon that he gained controlling share on the property on Dec. 11, 2012.
Brown told Patch after the meeting that his family invested in a "small mortgage" with Powell.
"We gave the attorney (Powell) money for the mortgage, with several other investors," said Brown. " My investment was small, approximately $50,000."
Brown said his family was victimized by Powell and was unaware that payments were not being made.
"I knew nothing about the payments being behind...I hired an attorney and went into litigation with others to get control. Brown said he sued Powell's wife who gave up their controlling shares to Brown.
The board instructed Brown to get in touch with the building department to determine if it can be cleaned up and made safe and gave Brown until the next board meeting on Jan. 29 to respond.
Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio told Brown, "You need to go to the building department to make the buildings safe, livable and clean."
Sean Lehmann, president of the Kings Park Civic Association agreed that the property owner has rights, but said if the building is unsafe, it should come down.
"We don’t want the property just sitting there," said Lehmann. "We should have an answer in two weeks. You have to give the guy a chance, but if it is not made safe, it should come down."