The Company He Keeps

Chelsea candidate Chris Lynn's suspect pals

Lynn calls the missive "a private letter sent by one gay man to another. This is really not a campaign issue. It's a smear," said Lynn, who blames Quinn for circulating the letter. (The Voice did not get the letter from Quinn or her campaign.) Lynn told the Voice that he had met Iveli 20 years ago, but has no relationship with him and does not know Sigmund. The tenant, who has moved to Florida, did not take up the offer, which Lynn describes as a "mitzvah." But in a district where posters denouncing Sigmund and Iveli still adorn windows, the mitzvah could translate into a mistake at the polls.

Sigmund and Iveli's egregious reign on West 22nd Street has won them headlines like "Landlords from Hell" and repeated standing on lists of the city's worst slumlords. In 1996, Sigmund was sentenced to two months in jail for attacking a photographer with a chair. The pair still face charges from a state housing agency that they allowed drugs and prostitution to overrun their buildings, failed to make even the most minimal repairs, and retaliated against tenants who complained. Iveli did not return calls.

Lynn agrees the landlords are problematic. "They have operated on the cheap for years," says Lynn. "If they can't make repairs, they should get out of the business."

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