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Huang plays hooky for fourth time at court

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Huang was scheduled to appear at the Queens Environmental Control Board, which ajudicates cases on behalf of the city Department of Buildings Tuesday after his case was adjourned from its original May 18 court date. He did not show up for his 8:30 am court appointment, and court officials said he did not contact them to reschedule.

Huang and his Flushing-based company, 63 Drive Corporation, are charged with numerous building violations for his work at the Bayside house, where he had filed a DOB application to build four homes where a one-family home previously stood. In April, the DOB cited him for "failure to safeguard public and property affected by construction operations" after foundation work led to the collapse of the fence, pool lines, lighting and retaining wall of Patricia Martin's house at 39-33 223rd St. Additional violations issued in April include his failure to report the collapse to the DOB as well as failure to provide protection and fences during the construction.

Huang also was charged with violations in December for failing to maintain a fence around the site. There is now a stop-work order slapped on the site, and no work can legally be done until Huang addresses the construction problems.

In all, Huang has a total of eight outstanding Environmental Control Board violations on the property and one Department of Buildings violation, none of which have been resolved. In addition to Tuesday's missed court appearance, Huang has not appeared for Environmental Control Board court dates in January, May and June of this year.

He could not be reached for comment.

Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) held a rally at Martin's house in June to condemn Huang's alleged building violations and said he wanted the city and state to prohibit Huang and his associates from ever building in New York again. Huang is also notorious for neglecting asbestos contamination and spilling hundreds of gallons of gas on the site of one of his properties, the landmarked RKO Keith's Theater in Flushing. Efforts to reach Huang at his office were unsuccessful.

According to the ECB, Huang will continue to accrue financial penalties up to a maximum limit if he does not resolve the violations. However, on many of the violations Huang has already been charged with the maximum fine, according to an ECB official. For instance, his April citation for failing to maintain a construction fence around the job site carried a $10,000 fine, the most the ECB can levy on that sort of violation. Eventually, the official said, if Huang does not pay his fines, his debt will be sold to a collection agency.

In addition, Huang may not be able to renew building permits with open violations on his record.

"If he needs to renew, he wouldn't be allowed to," the Environmental Control Board official said.

The city may not take any action beyong fining Huang, however, the ECB official said.

"They send a threatening letter, but as far as I know they've never actually taken property away," she said. "But his credit would be affected, and he couldn't refinance."

Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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