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Council bill seeks to end city affiliations with ‘disgraced’ Trump Organization

Eric Trump, third from left, and Donald Trump Jr., second from right, talk with guests at the opening of the Trump Golf Links clubhouse, Monday, June 11, 2018, in the Bronx borough of New York. Behind them is the Whitestone Bridge. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

One Manhattan lawmaker is looking to remove the Trump Organization from business dealings with New York City.

Councilman Mark Levine is leading a charge to end collaboration between city agencies and the Trump Organization, which has been found to have violated state and federal laws inveterately.

The Trump Organization — owned by the impeached president and operated by his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric — has contracts with the Parks Department to operate various venues such as the Lasker and Wollman Skating Rinks in Central Park, the Central Park Carousel and the Trump Golf Links public golf course in the Bronx.

Levine charged that the rinks and links were money losers for the city — and that the city should no longer associate itself with a business mired in various “criminal entanglements.” He claimed the president’s drop in popularity has impacted business at the locations.

The state Attorney General’s office, now under the leadership of Letitia James as of 2019, conducted a two-year investigation of the Trump Organization and determined it had “operated in persistent violation of state and federal laws.” 

This was based on the misuse of funds as a charity which resulted in $2 million in fines against the organization.

Levine also slammed President Trump’s recent declaration of residency in Florida.

“Now that Donald Trump has moved out of New York City, he should take his corrupt businesses with him,” Levine said “In addition to the criminal entanglements of the Trump Organization, the current contracts at the Wollman & Lasker Skating Rinks in Central Park and the Trump Golf Links in the Bronx are underperforming and losing critical funding for NYC Parks. Our city’s financial relationship with the Trump name is a stain on the reputation of New York City and it needs to end immediately.”

Councilwomen Carlina Rivera and Margaret Chin have also signed onto the bill, claiming President Trump’s role in generating polarizing rhetoric are grounds enough for the city to sever its ties with the Trump Organization.

“There are numerous reasons for the City of New York to no longer do business with the Trump Organization, from President Trump’s hateful rhetoric and actions, to the Trump Organization’s criminal behavior,” Rivera said. “But the fact that facilities run by the Trump Organization are not living up to financial expectations show the City should finally get rid of any ties this failing business once and for all.”

The Trump Organization’s contracts with the Central Park rinks expires in 2021 while the agreement for golf course is up in 2032.

“It is unfortunate that anyone sees the need to make this political. For over 20 years, The Trump Organization has been a partner of New York City and has saved many iconic assets, such as Wollman Rink and Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, which were deeply destressed [sic] and in sad financial ruin,” Eric Trump responded. “Under our leadership, those assets have become the pride and joy of our great city. The Trump Organization has created tens of thousands of jobs in New York, contributing millions of dollars in capital investments and has paid tens of millions of dollars in rent. We are honored to be partnered with the city, and we will continue to do an outstanding job. We look forward to making New York proud for many years to come.”

On Wednesday, Trump became the third president in American history to be impeached after the House of Representatives — voting largely on party lines — approved two articles of impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

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