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Sale of Flake senior housing raises questions over fair deal

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When the Rev. Floyd Flake sold the Allen AME Senior Citizen Housing Complex in 2006, tenants received a notice in the mail but were not told Flake was a part-owner of a for-profit corporation that bought the development for $14 million, The New York Times said.

Flake’s charity, which is associated with the Allen AME Cathedral he runs as a pastor, sold the complex to a group of new owners that included Flake himself, the Times reported.

Other partners in the deal included the Rev. Edwin Reed, Allen AME’s former chief financial officer, and real estate developers Peter Florey and Leonard D’Amico.

D’Amico’s mother, Gloria D’Amico, is the Queens County clerk of courts who along with Queens Supreme Court Judge Augustus Agate signed the petition finalizing the sale of the complex, the Times reported.

Because Flake’s charity was selling the property, the state attorney general’s office had to approve the sale.

At that time, Eliot Spitzer was the attorney general and just elected governor.

Joan Flowers, the southeast Queens attorney who filed the petition in Queens Supreme Court, was a consultant to Spitzer’s gubernatorial campaign, the Times said.

Flowers, who filed the petition two days after Spitzer was elected governor, was also treasurer of then-lieutenant governor candidate David Paterson during that time, the paper said.

The Times said the reviews by the court and the attorney general’s office were needed to ensure that the board of Flake’s charity approved of the sale, but the paper said the petition filed in court showed the board approved the sale for $17 million, not for the $14 million the deal actually went for.

The attorney general’s office approved the sale Dec. 11, 2006, the Times said.

The paper said a spokesman for state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said the office’s records showed that the petition of the sale did not receive any special treatment.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 5:56 pm, October 10, 2011
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