This essay was originally titled
YALE LAW SCHOOL FUNDED BY
NYC RACKETEERS PAST 40 YEARS, but as it's moving on to a global audience,
POISON IVY LEAGUE
is catchier, succinct and fits better on a theater marquee.
Details to come as permitted to reveal!
TRIGGER ALERT: As you are about to read, is sadly true. It became uncovered as no law enforcement in New York City would take up my case on Jane Goldman's own corruption, evidenced with scores of RICO violations in the Department of Buildings records. Although my personal standing is with Jane for defrauding me out of $127,000, the overwhelming research that turned up an awful mess in New Haven, needed to be included.
The editor of the New York Times received a copy of this story via certified mail back in January 2020. In fact, every major newspaper and legal institution around the globe received an earlier digital version of this story to investigate for themselves back in September 2020 and not one has done so I am aware of. NYC mayoral candidates Andrew Yang, Scott Stringer, Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Carlos Menchaca, Dianne Morales, Maya Wiley and Issac Wright, Jr, as well as all DA candidates, and many City Council candidates were made aware of this website on January 17-27, 2021 and none ever responded..
POISON IVY LEAGUE
by Steve Fogelman
As Originally Published January 12, 2021
"Nothing remains hidden forever like the sun, the moon, and the truth."
Sol Goldman. Jane Goldman. Alan Goldman. These names meant nothing to me when Jane became my landlord in 2014 as owner of Solil Management, but over the next four years, being personally victimized by her corruption and fraud lead me to delve into her background, discovering her father, Sol, made an initial 8-figure donation to Yale Law School around 1980 and continued as donor. In fact, Yale Law School’s current dean, Heather Gerken, has the endowed title Sol and Lillian Goldman Professor of Law, with a couple professorships outside the law school also paid for by a Sol Goldman endowment. The name Lillian Goldman is on the law library and there’s a plaque in the law school courtyard dedicating it to Sol Goldman by a donation from his daughter, Jane. But who are Sol Goldman and Jane Goldman? How did he acquire the wealth she inherited, and how has Jane been running the business since his death in 1987?
Sol Goldman was once New York City’s largest landlord, starting in the late 1940's and building a portfolio of around 600 buildings- rumored as high as 1900- including the Chrysler Building, jointly owned by his partner Alex DiLorenzo, until DiLorenzo's death in 1975. Although 35 years since both have passed, and Sol revered as a generous humanitarian through the Sol Goldman Charitable Foundation, ‘generously’ may be how his foundation spends money, it was not how he acquired it.
“Goldman and DiLorenzo had a negative reputation as landlords. They had been accused of hiring flunkies to physically harass tenants, and enlisted a firm related to an infamous mafia family to help quash a strike by building employees at the Chrysler Building. In addition they had been charged with tax delinquencies and serious violations of building codes that in at least one case resulted in fatalities,” the British Tate museum summarized, in a May 1971 article regarding the Goldman theme of the work by German born artist, Hans Haacke scheduled to be part of a show at The Guggenheim Museum.
Haacke’s conceptual piece used building records and photos to allege illegal activities by Goldman and DiLorenzo, but he refused to remove the piece from his show as requested so his entire show was
cancelled, as the museum director feared life threatening retaliation from Goldman if the piece was
Then as recently as 2015, curbed.com's review of a Haacke retrospective, The Artist and the Slumlord: A Photographer's 1970s Quest to Unmask an NYC Real Estate Family, examines Haacke’s 1971 work at The Whitney that year with the same approach to another notorious New York slumlord, Harry J. Shapolsky. In the late 1950’s, Shapolsky was brought up on charges of being a front man for New York building department officials and allegedly, had $216,000 in hidden bank accounts that he used to pay off city inspectors, or laundered the money for officials who were taking payoffs. Shapolsky was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine, while a year later, was convicted of rent gouging.
Unscrupulous tactics were status quo for big landlords operating in Goldman’s heyday, and Goldman was the biggest.
Additionally, in 2008, the Real Deal published, Looking Back: Sol Goldman, a Mogul Surrounded by Turmoil, stating Sol “...was known for his gruff manner that sometimes alienated instead of charmed (he was not a popular landlord),” and “...at the time of his death, it was everyone versus Goldman - he was the target of 250 lawsuits claiming more than $300 million against him and his estate.” ($675 million in 2021 dollars) “Goldman had also garnered a reputation for paying late and leaving tenants in the lurch regarding services to which they legally were entitled.” (appendix C-18) (Evidence Appendices A - F)
Sol died in 1987 at the age of 70 due to kidney failure, and the fight over his billion dollar estate grabbed headlines as the largest in New York City history with his children battling their mother, Lillian, for control. The children eventually won, though Lillian was not left penniless, and donated over $20 million to Yale Law School in 1992 to fund the reconstruction and expansion of the campus’
library, renaming it The Lillian Goldman Law Library. She was a fan of Yale Law because they were the first in the country to admit women.
Inexplicably, control of the estate went to youngest daughter, Jane H. Goldman, 65, who became the owner of what is now a $6 billion real estate empire of nearly 400 buildings, made up of Solil Management Corporation, The Sol Goldman Company, and Sol Goldman Investments, LLC. A negligence lawsuit against her detailed her personal wealth around $3 billion, held in a trio of trusts. She oversees all daily operations of the multi-billion dollar real estate management companies as mentioned in the July 26, 2016 Forbes article: America’s Richest Real Estate Family Doesn’t Want You to Know Who They Are (C-1). As the 16th wealthiest family in America, it is now obvious the intent of their desired low profile: hiding the guilt and shame over the family’s decades of corruption, conspiracy and fraud.
There are two personae of Jane Goldman. In New Haven, CT she and the rest of the Goldman family are viewed as saints for decades of multi-million dollar donations to Yale Law School, in addition to many other philanthropic achievements over the past 40+ years through the Sol Goldman Charitable Foundation and through what must be the goodness of her own heart. However; in Jane’s hometown of New York City, she and her clan are known to residents, tenants and employees as corrupt slumlords with a D- rating by the Better Business Bureau (C-13), intimidators and scammers. Any New Yorker over 50 knows who they really are. Like a Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde, Jane’s personal dichotomy is fascinating on a psychological level as on one hand she’s philanthropic, setting up much-needed multi-million dollar legal assistance programs for women and children, while in the same breathe she is ruthless, petty and crooked with tens of thousands of tenants for whom she is contractually obliged to provide.
No doubt some type of mental illness plagues Jane and her family, as during the legal battle over Sol’s fortune, The Real Deal’s 2008 article quotes court records. “Daughter Jane told the court Lillian was ‘emotionally ill.’ Daughter Diane said that Lillian had ‘psychiatric problems.’ (Lillian reportedly said she saw a psychiatrist because ‘I had to learn how to live with that strange family.’)” (C-17) Since 1987, science has proven many types of mental illness are hereditary from mother and father.
Jane’s only brother, Allan Goldman, with his own real estate company BLDG Management, was rated in 2016 as the second worst landlord in the City of New York by then-Public Advocate Leticia James, and published in October, 2016 by The Real Deal (C-9) siting over 1,193 violations on a mere 25 buildings in his portfolio (C-10). No legal action was taken against him, although James brought charges against minority slumlords with similar offenses. Additionally, Alan illegally renovates and leases his apartments without permits as there are Stop Work Orders and Stop Work Order Violations on his properties (C-11,12) that PA James and DOB simply ignored, displaying their participation in systemic corruption.
What is more, crainesnewyork.com reported the same data in a 2016 article, Don’t Rent an Apartment from these Landlords, adding that Jane’s company, Solil Management, manages most of Alan’s buildings making her the true slumlord. In another interesting note, the Goldmans are conspicuously missing from the Top 100 Worst Landlords list for 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020, as few, if any, of the 1,193 violations were ever repaired. I know this to be true as her former tenant with code violations in my own apartment from illegal renovations that were never repaired after three complaints. Jane simply paid the fines, or so the record shows.
I moved into 400 E 89th Street (aka 1700 First Avenue) apartment 11M, on June 17th, 2014 (A1) with my lovable seven year old Lab mix, Mossi. My mother was guarantor, as I was new in town and didn’t have the documented income or a steady job to get a New York apartment
alone, as I was performing in Off Off Broadway theater and working as a background actor on shows
like Boardwalk Empire.
The renovated unit I moved into was a generous 550 square foot alcove studio apartment for $2600/month, which seemed a bargain for the size and condition. On my first evening, I heard a toilet flush above followed by a loud gurgling coming through my kitchen sink and thought “What the fuck have I gotten myself into?” and telephoned the super, Edo. He came by the next day with a sink stopper, thinking I must not have one, which let me know he was fully aware of the plumbing malfunction that was not disclosed to me.
If I didn’t remember to put the strainer in the sink when I left, I would come home to an odorous apartment. Being rather new in New York City I had absolutely no idea how to navigate the Department of Buildings or which agency would help. It took 18 months just to get management’s acknowledgement of a possibly clogged plumbing vent. Then one attempt to resolve the sewer gasses coming into my apartment was finally made at the beginning of February 2016 but did not resolve the issue (A-18) and management took no further action. Since all the apartments in my building were illegally renovated, what likely occurred is that unlicensed tradesmen negligently tampered with the drain venting during an earlier illegal renovation.
I would have moved out at the end of my first year’s lease, as many tenants do, but I found apartment hunting difficult with a large dog and figured I would tolerate the conditions and stay on E 89th Street until my dog passed, since moving is also stressful on pets. I did not know about Emotional Support Animal exemptions -and that I qualified - so I felt trapped.
In April of 2016, the tenants above me in 12L bought their teenage son a full drum kit which he practiced sometimes until 9pm. There was no place to go in my apartment and not hear the drumming and called police on numerous occasions. I also wrote to the neighbors and then-building manager, Adam Goldblatt, but nothing was done. Having and playing drums was a violation of the lease and it was Jane’s responsibility to mitigate the situation to maintain habitability. I had an attorney call Adam Goldblatt but his calls were never returned. So I had to also deal with the drumming for another couple years (B-18) as I was not interested in experiencing additional emotional toll of a lawsuit.
In June of 2016 I finally filed a complaint on my unit’s plumbing through the automated city service line, 311, and an inspector of Polish decent with badge #2686 came by on June 21, 2016 and found no violation in my unit (B-9). His demeanor was so peculiarly distant leaving me feeling he was working for Jane. And perhaps I was right. I rejected his findings and filed another complaint where subsequent inspectors, badge numbers 2679, 2689 and 2695 all found plumbing code violations under my sink (B-10,11,12). I reported the violation several times because Jane never fixed the problem, only paying the fine. I later found out there is no law requiring her to bring anything up to code so I would’ve had to sue Jane in Housing Court in order to do so. (Evidence Appendices A - F)
All the while this plumbing and drumming fiasco was taking place in my apartment, there was constant uninhabitable noise coming from construction by contractor All-City Remodeling, owned by George Tsimoyianis, on other floors without permits. Any renovation that includes demolition requires a permit. And the permit process is not merely to ensure plumbing and electrical work is performed safely to building code, but also to require landlords to produce a Tenant Safety Plan to maintain safety and habitability during construction. And these were really loud renovations where they drilled long, narrow openings throughout the concrete walls and ceilings for new electrical wiring, and to remove existing flooring. There was never a Tenant Safety Plan at 1700 First Avenue. Jane just remodeled as she pleased to create the jewel of her portfolio, inspecting the renovated units as completed. I’ve personally seen her there on two occasions, but there are many more occasions the doormen spoke about. So all the electrical work in the walls and new plumbing for bathrooms, kitchens and adding washer/dryer hookups, were done by unlicensed tradesmen without inspections.
1700 First Avenue is one of the few buildings actually built by Sol Goldman so it was done cheaply. Although the units are spacious, the 214-unit building has no service elevators and the building is so poorly constructed allowing for noise to travel through multiple floors, making construction two or three stories above or below sound like next door. Since there were never any permits posted, I was hesitant to get involved to report the construction without permits, but finally tried to do so anonymously in July of 2016 through the city's 311 system. Several weeks went by and the construction never stopped, so I logged onto the Department of Building website to investigate. What the Department of Building record showed was inspector #2732 came by on July 14, 2016 and was denied access by the doorman, Alex. On a second attempt on July 27, 2016 inspector #2271 was denied access by the super, Edo, (B-6) and the case was closed. The illegal construction continued but the case was closed, NOT escalated. This ignited my journey for truth.
How could this be possible that an investigation into construction without permits was closed when inspectors were DENIED entry, not merely unable to gain entrance? The units under construction were always left unlocked and both the Super and doormen have keys to all the apartments. As it turns out, the daytime doorman, Alex, told me Jane instructed all doormen to lie to inspectors, if they came by, that they needed to contact management for access. (Unfortunately Alex died of Covid 19 in April 2020, so Carmello has taken his daytime schedule, and other surviving doormen at any of her buildings have the same story.) Additionally, the building supers at each property and building managers at the main office were also instructed by Jane to lie to inspectors and deny access when they called or arrived so the case would then be closed. These guys had no idea of the legal implications of their actions. To them it just seemed like a game of cat and mouse so they felt no breech of confidence telling me these details and I never made judgmental comments, though to me it sounded like obstruction of justice, one of 35 RICO violations (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) established to combat organized crime and corruption.
Law requires a minimum of two occurrences to establish corruption so, later in November of 2016 I filed another anonymous complaint to the same result: access denied twice, first by Super, Edo, and then by management and case closed (B-7). Since at the time I knew nothing of Jane’s other properties or how to find them, and with the foresight of criminal and civil suits, I felt a third closed complaint would prove corruption beyond a reasonable doubt. So in December I filed another complaint knowing I would get the same result: access denied access denied case closed (B-8).
At the time inspector #2679 came to my apartment to inspect the plumbing I asked him if it was a Department of Buildings policy to close a Construction Without Permits investigation after two denials of entry. HE CONFIRMED THIS WAS DOB POLICY, but had no knowledge as to why. No one else outside the Goldman family, or very few, know of this policy as, ironically, I had contacted then-NYC Assistant District Attorney, Diana Florence, who headed the Construction Fraud unit, and she didn’t believe it was DOB policy, confessing she tried to renovate her own condo without permits and was caught and fined. She resigned her position amid accusations she withheld evidence that undermined a prosecution witness and is currently running for NYC DA. No one knows when the building inspector comes you can just tell them to leave, so Jane’s knowledge of this Department of Buildings policy and use of it to her benefit fulfills the definition of corruption: “Improper and usually unlawful conduct intended to secure a benefit for one self or another...[with] the misuse of inside information” (B-21). (Evidence Appendices A - F)
I contacted DOB commissioner, Melanie LaRocca, to find out why a policy exists on the books that helps landlords illegally renovate apartments, but she never returned my calls. I am still interested to know when this policy was enacted and by whom, and for whom. Are the Goldmans the only landlords who know how to not only defy the legal work permit process but also when caught, get the DOB to look the other way?
But it is illegal, in the City of New York, to rent out an apartment that does not have a Certificate of Occupancy, yet all of Jane’s thousands of illegally renovated apartments do not have COs, making her daily business operation criminal, with doormen, supers and building managers alleged co-conspirators guilty on many counts.
I had seen then-Public Advocate Leticia James (now New York State Attorney General) on TV news announcing legal action against a notorious slumlord of Chinese descent. Although while watching the first thought that popped into my head was the guy must not have donated to her campaign, I still felt for sure she was the perfect person to contact to help, though unfortunately, she never responded. Her relationship with Jane became suspect, as well as current NYC Mayor DeBlasio since he was Public Advocate before becoming mayor, as well as the current Public Advocate, Jumane D. Williams, and every PA for the last 60 years who willfully neglected their duty to protect the people of New York City from the Goldmans, which is grounds for disbarment.
With no city or law enforcement official listening to me, or even believing what I was saying, over the years left me feeling the Goldman family was untouchable by any department in New York, like a classic 1970’s crime family, having free rein to do as they please because of their billionaire status. I went to everyone I could think of or find online. The NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said they would forward my complaint to some real estate division. My state senator, Katherine Seabright; no response. City Councilman Ben Kallos, who has a large percentage of Jane’s properties in his district: no response. In fact, when I followed up with him I discovered my email was blocked, making the recent news he will likely be Manhattan borough president in 2021 concerning. Every Manhattan City Council member received this story as well. What became true to me is that state and local politicians and law enforcement are unresponsive on issues about the Goldmans. Why?
Website lists national campaign donations, and Jane, as an individual from Solil Management, is included, having spent over $6.4 million dollars in 2016 national contributions (C-20-23), but only around $19,000 in this 2020 cycle. However; it does not list state and city campaign donations, which would be much more telling as to why Jane has had this free rein in New York for decades. Even researching on NYC campaign donation websites, nothing turned up under 'Goldman’ or ‘Solil,’ so Jane’s money must be flowing to local candidates by less transparent means.
The lesson learned was if I wanted to stop illegal construction in a Jane Goldman building it could not be done anonymously and there may be repercussions. But I am on the Autism Spectrum, and those like me see things in black and white and are often compelled to right wrongs regardless of consequences. So I filed a Work Without Permits complaint using my name as the contact person and the inspector came to me around lunch time on February 26, 2018 (B-3). Before verifying my complaint for the third time, he went to pull up the complaint number in his pocket computer and astonishingly, the complaint number was no longer in the DOB system. But I anticipated such corruption at the onset and had photographed the initial complaint form, so the inspector notified the DOB to have it restored, and it was. (A complaint I filed in November 2017 regarding sewers leaking in the basement for over a week that stank up all 16 floors of the building is also no longer accessible in the DOB database, so who knows how many health code and other violations are also missing from Jane Goldman's city records. Every DOB employee with a database password must be concerned!)
I then took the inspector up to apartment 12K. The door, which was always left open, was locked. We banged on the door for several seemingly endless minutes over the loud noise of running equipment. Finally the noise stopped and the door was opened, revealing a gutted mess and a dangerous work site with a screwdriver in the electric panel as a fuse. The inspector asked one of the three eastern European workers if the doorman, Alex, buzzed up on the intercom and told him to lock the door. They said he did. (that's also obstruction of justice) He asked if any had license cards. None did. I was impressed how the inspector was a pro at deescalating a potentially volatile situation, going as far as asking the hardwood floor guy for his business card to have him work at his house. As the men packed up their equipment, a Stop Work Order was taped to the door and the inspector and I went down to apartment 6M.
The door to 6M was unlocked. The renovation of the unit had been completed, but still empty, with a brand new electric panel installed by an unlicensed electrician without inspections. A Stop Work Order was issued on this unit as well. A bold red Stop Work Order Notice had been taped in the front lobby window, but by the next morning it had been illegally removed, and like nothing had happened the day before, George Tsimoyianis’ All-City Remodeling truck was outside with men cavalierly unloading kitchen cabinets for another apartment, violating the SWO. A Stop Work Order means that no work whatsoever is permitted anywhere on the premises until the SWO is lifted, meaning proper permits and inspections must be obtained. Violating a SWO is considered a crime and I was told I could call the police to intervene, but that seemed a bit dramatic (B-3). (Evidence Appendices A - F)
After the Stop Work Order was levied at the end of February of 2018, I spent time notifying real estate brokers of the confirmed illegal status of Jane’s apartments, because I naively felt it’s a broker’s responsibility to know which buildings are troublesome so apartment hunters would not find themselves in substandard housing. I was already aware of Jane's relationship with Yale and had also notified Dean Gerken and Yale Law Review.
Jane found out about my activism, and called me directly in early March 2018 in the late afternoon to harass and threaten me and my mother with a lawsuit if I didn’t keep her crimes to myself. Despite her unscrupulous tactic, I said “Yes! That’s what I want!” as I would have loved the opportunity to present this corruption evidence in court. But I also immediately knew she would never go through with it, as during discovery she would be deposed for days and have to grant access to materials that would likely be further incriminating. She called me “crazy” and said “I must be out of my mind,” which gives us our first clue into her mental state, as since I am neither, they can be interpreted as classic disorienting tactics from a Narcissist caught in a lie. She also told me she would not be renewing my lease, to which I replied, “Like I really care.”
An official letter threatening a lawsuit on some type of business interference grounds, sent to both me and my mother as guarantor, followed from Jane’s General Counsel and strong-arm, Judy Brenner, who herself, a graduate of 53rd-ranked Yeshiva University’s Cordozo School of Law, is subject to disbarment from these actions with the rest of her in-house counsel. For some reason she included a copy of the tipster’s email Jane received and the sender was from the real estate brokerage Citi Habitats. My elderly mother was quite upset but I assured her it was only an intimidation tactic as Jane knows her rental units are indeed illegally renovated and leased, and would never want that to be part of a court record. A lawsuit never happened.
It was at this time, after nearly four years of dealing with the illegal construction that I finally discovered Community Board 8. Had I known about them years earlier things would have played out differently. Community Boards exist throughout the city to help tenants handle such tenuous landlord matters and were effective at dealing with the Department of Building on my behalf. But the evil eye from doormen as I entered and exited had reached a peak, and although my lease ended in May 2018, I moved out on March 27, 2018, actually suffering trauma from the toxic energy I call The Jane Goldman Effect. Three days later, on March 30, 2018, the DOB stormed the building to levy a Stop Work Order Violation (B-2).
I began a new life free of Jane, but it took about a year of therapy and moving on to start feeling better, though I was still struggling with depression when my dog, and best friend of 13 years, had to be put down in May 2019. Needing distractions while I grieved, I thought why not check in on Jane’s activity on the Department of Buildings website. When I found that a year later there was still a Stop Work Order Violation on 1700 First Avenue, and evidence of additional construction continued, I felt that calling to reveal the truth reemerge. I began by simply logging on to www.solil.com, and was fascinated to find what was once a single outdated web page had become a full elaborate website with many of Jane’s residential property addresses included, thanks to Jane’s son, Michael’s, modernization efforts, which ironically made this whole story possible.
One after another I plugged over 100 addresses (B-19) into the Department of Building website, https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/index.page, and like hitting a Vegas jackpot, found decades of complaints of construction without permits that were never investigated, and dozens of stop work orders and stop work order violations still in effect with fines due and completely ignored by the DOB (E and F). It is likely tenants in Jane’s other buildings involved community boards to have these SWOs and violations levied. However; all Stop Work Order notices have been illegally removed from every building and all work finished without permits or inspections. Database evidence goes back 30 years to December of 1991 where inspectors #0307 and #0594 were twice denied access at 594 Third Avenue to verify certificate of occupancy (B-13) and the case closed. (Evidence Appendices A - F)
Are there construction without permit violations on every one of Jane’s buildings? No. In fact, there are renovations completed with permits on a couple Upper West Side Buildings, and I guess I had some effect on Jane as there were now several new construction permits pulled and successfully completed with inspections at 1700 First Avenue. However; the permits pulled by the architect on record, Asif Jamil, in March of 2018, including unit 12K (B14,15) have no records of inspections (B16) other than a plumbing FAIL (B17) and the Stop Work Order Violation remains on this property (B1). But unit 12K renovations were illegally completed and the unit leased, leaving Asif Jamil’s AIA license vulnerable to be revoked, as he is likely also the architect of many other illegally remodeled units. No permits were ever pulled on 6M to comply with the SWO and has since been leased.
One would expect permits to be pulled on 12K or 6M in order to comply with the SWO, but no one would be issued additional building permits until a SWO was lifted without corrupt inside help. So who allowed permits to be issued on units outside the SWO? Again, Building Department Commissioner, Melanie LaRocca, never returned my calls.
When the loud illegal construction finally stopped in March of 2018, I was treated as a hero by my neighbors at 400 E 89th St and they would all confirm the horrendous conditions from noise, plumbing and electrical issues at 1700 First Avenue, but, unfortunately, I cannot include them as they could be subject to spiteful repercussions. Has every single one of Jane’s and Sol’s tenants had a traumatic experience? Of course not. There are tenants at 1700 First Avenue that have been there since it opened in 1964. But then again people stay in abusive relationships for many reasons, one of them being cheap rent. I left because I had to.
But that does not minimize the harm done to so many, quoting Kevin C.’s 1-star review on Better Business Bureau report: “The most unprofessional, unresponsive, negligent, corrupt management company I have ever been exposed to - by a mile. That's coming from someone who has lived in various ‘luxury’ buildings in Manhattan over the course of 12+ years. The unit I rented was brand new construction and has had nothing but problems from the onset. Avoid any of their buildings AT ALL COSTS. Trust me, it's a black hole there in terms of getting in touch with ANYONE who might be able to help.”
Visit YELP.com for over 100 1-star reviews for Solil Management from former tenants and applicants (D-1-16). PLEASE READ THEM ALL to appreciate the overwhelming emotional toil these accounts of inhabitability, scamming apartment hunters out of application fees, and general gross negligence took on the citizens of New York. You will find they have all experienced the trauma of the Jane Goldman Effect that comes about from the anguish of living helplessly in a building where your landlord simply ignores her contractual legal obligations, with their lives ruined, unable to overcome that trauma. The few recent 5-star reviews appear to be planted to raise the rating from 1-star as they are not about the management company but doormen in their buildings.
Jane’s tenants are not the only ones who suffer her toxic personality, as on job search engine indeed.com, reviews for Solil Management report Jane has created a hostile work environment by keeping all office employees under individual video surveillance, again displaying a narcissistic need for control. On another job search engine, glassdoor.com, reviews of working at Solil are just as harsh, though there are planted positive reviews from doormen who do not work at the office. Doormen reportedly dreaded going to the office for any reason as they could feel the toxicity getting off the elevator.
Much blame rests with real estate brokers for allowing Jane’s racket to flourish.
All are well aware Solil Management is a horrible company, with illegal apartments, as some real estate firms forbid their brokers from showing Solil units, while most, like previously-mentioned Citi-Habitats, gladly show them for the commission, knowing the horrors that await their clients after move-in. But again, it is illegal in New York City for licensed brokers to show them. On several occasions I would find brokers in the 1700 First Avenue lobby waiting to show an apartment and I would ask them “You know all these apartments are illegally renovated?” and they’d reply “Someone has to show them.”
I tried to verify that the real estate broker’s code of conduct prohibits licensed brokers from showing illegally renovated apartments, but the woman at the NY Real Estate Board would not answer my question and would not refer me to anyone because I am not a member. I contacted a TV actor friend who moonlights as a broker, who I thought was one of the good guys, and he replied I would need to contact a real estate attorney for answers to those questions. But a deeper dig showed all those brokers are in violation of Article 12-A of New York Real Property Law, in addition to the board’s own code of ethics, but systemic corruption leaves no one interested to enforce anything.
Which translates to every brokerage firm that allowed Solil apartments to be shown is minimally negligent and all fees collected must be returned to the client. Additionally, any past or present Solil tenant can file a complaint against the broker and brokerage they used to the state licensing board here to have their license revoked. I would expect a Small Claims Court judge to likely recognize Article 12-A of New York Real Property Law if needed to collect the fees. My broker was from CityWide and they have been notified.
As Hans Haacke 50 years earlier created an art piece that told the story of Goldman improprieties with building records and photos, here I told the story how his daughter, Jane, continues his notorious legacy, using building records in narrative form. The city records alone offer compelling evidence of corruption, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, evidence tampering and fraud, with additional evidence of intimidation, which are six RICO violations, crowning Jane Goldman a racketeer: illegally refurbishing and leasing apartments and entering into every lease without intent to honor her legal obligation of maintaining habitability, which constitutes fraud. Just like her father, Sol.
So these are the generous Goldmans with their name on Yale Law School, the website, and campus. The school first accepting money from a man such as Sol Goldman seems awfully inappropriate given his undeniable notoriety at the time. However; in Yale's defense, the American Bar Association (ABA) Standards and Rules of Procedures for Approval of Law Schools, Standard 202 (C-35), does not mandate a legal nor minimally ethical source of financial resources, merely that a law school must have them. (purchase a copy of the ABA Standards for Accreditation for $15) (Evidence Appendices A - F)
After Sol’s initial undisclosed 8-figure endowment around 1980, The Sol Goldman Foundation has made annual $2M donations to the law school according to www.grantmakers.io with Jane continuing as a Yale donor through the years on her own (C-26), and most recently, in 2017, the Yale Law School courtyard was named the Sol Goldman Courtyard by a donation from Jane. There, Dean Gerken was photographed standing next to Jane and brother Allan. (C-24-25) “In a ceremony in the Ruttenberg Dining Hall on April 4, Dean Robert C. Post ’77 noted, ‘The legacy of the Goldman family touches every part of the Yale Law School community, as well as the broader university.’” Yes it does, like a virus.
(Yale refers to Jane as an alumnus with P ’14 after her name, but it could only be honorary. Wikipedia does not mention Jane’s Yale degree, just that she attended boarding school at the prestigious The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) where most graduates go on to attend the world’s top universities, and that Jane, with all her father’s money, ended up at Manhattanville College - currently ranked 513th in the USA with a 90% acceptance rate- indicating her grades and SAT performance were quite poor.)
The law school dean at the time of the Goldman initial multi-million dollar endowment was Harry Wellington (1975-1985) but he died in 2011 of a brain tumor. The University president at the time was A. Bartlett Giamatti (1978-1986) but died in 1989 at the early age of 51. So no one is around to fill us in on why Yale excepted this money and if anyone from the school objected, though there may be boxes of enlightening documents in some New Haven storage facility. However; living former deans Guido Calabrese, Anthony Kronman, Robert Post and Harold Hong Koh could detail their relationship and experiences with the Goldmans and what they know and heard.
University presidents were also required to maintain some type of relationship with major donors, so living former Yale University presidents Benno C. Schmidt Jr., Howard Lamar, and Richard Levin all have Goldman stories to tell. But Yale and its current president, Peter Salovey, have never been transparent on donation sources, as in February 2020 NPR reported, Yale, with one of the largest endowments of any US university at $26 billion, is now under investigation by the Department of Education for failing to disclose a total of $335 million in foreign donations (C-38), and ABA Standard 202 has no provisions for the source of law school resources nor any ethical standard for a law school’s host university.
But the first big question arises: Are there now or ever been any Yale Law School or university alumni, besides Jane and her son Michael, who worked for Jane or Sol in any capacity following their allegedly corrupt business practices? In all likelihood, “yes,” as a September 20, 2018 article in The Guardian (C-29-33) Yale Law Professor “Amy Chua said she would advise [Yale] students on their physical looks to help win posts in [Brett] Kavanaugh’s chambers.” Because Jane has her own in-house counsel, it’s impossible to imagine over the past 40 years that Yale Law did not direct students interested in real estate to Jane as well.
The second big question is why has nothing happened for 40 years? I cannot be the first to bring the
Goldman's 'improprieties' to the attention of the Yale Law dean, university president, assorted faculty members and even the school paper, The Daily Yale. Dean Gerken has known for three years and they
all received earlier versions of this story with the evidence in September 2020. Did they really believe no one would ever find out or that this story would simply disappear? And what about the 250 lawsuits against their star donor at his death in 1987? Was the entire faculty oblivious? None of them ever read The New York Times? Not even famous alumni like the Clintons?
The triggering name Sol Goldman attached to a distinguished university - or any of the many institutions bearing his name from John Hopkins Pancreatic Cancer Research Center to NYC’s 14th Street YMHA - is highly offensive for the hundreds of thousands of past and present New York City tenants abused and swindled by the family. Other properties, institutions and charities sporting a Sol Goldman name can be found at www.grantmakers.io.
Like Confederate general statues adorning Southern city public squares are removed one after another because slave ownership makes them despicable, the Goldmans' 80 years of racketeering makes the name deserving of the same treatment. Yale set the precedent with something similar in February 2017 with a name change request to Calhoun Hall, named for an antebellum slave-owning graduate. Solavey, at first, refused, but a thousand protesters made him acquiesce to their demands. Over the decades, the Goldmans have donated an estimated $120 million of their tainted money to have their name on buildings and faculty titles associated with America’s #1-ranked law school.
(Besides apartments, the Goldman’s have always had other streams of real estate income from land leasing, office rentals and building sales, which may be legitimate, though the escrows have never been investigated for improprieties. How do you separate out a teaspoon of sugar mixed with a teaspoon of salt?)
So what happens now? Firstly, something must be done to stop Jane from her continued systematic degradation of a large portion of New York’s existing housing stock and ruining the lives of her tenants. I filed a complaint with the FBI, NYC DA Cyrus Vance, and the Department of Investigation back in January 2020 and nothing has happened I am aware of, though I am aware the pandemic has slowed things down. I spoke to a DOI attorney back in April 2020 - Michael Something - who said he received my report and would begin investigating when offices reopen, which was June 2020. In August 2020 I filed a complaint with Public Advocate Jumanie Williams, and another with the State Attorney General’s office citing corruption conspiracy and fraud (complaint #1-173259732), but Leticia James might allegedly be part of the problem. There exists the department of Housing Preservation and Development, but as illustrated, it is also a corrupt institution, and although the Department of Investigation exists expressly to combat corruption, it's clearly a shell department.
If Jane will not be held accountable for her past crimes, we must bring attention to enforcing laws on the books with obvious changes to DOB policies, and landlords must face criminal charges when Stop Work Orders are levied or when violations are not repaired. But the most effective change would be for the Housing Department to mandate a certificate of occupancy registration number on all apartment leases, in all advertisements, and must also be presented to a client by all licensed brokers prior to showing of a rental unit, that connects directly to the Department of Buildings website. In real estate sales, escrow cannot close without a valid CO, so why must renters be denied that protective right in this unscrupulous market?
Additionally, something must fundamentally change to reverse whatever caused America to become a dystopian society where a sexual predator Yale Law grad can become a Supreme Court Judge, a fascist one a US Senator, and a corrupt GW grad our US Attorney General, without repercussions.
The blame may fall on the fact that ABA Standards are so thin, bordering on meaningless, and lacking of a required ethics education and diversity support. Currently, ABA Standard 206 states a law school must accept diverse students and faculty, without a provision to prevent them from traumatic discrimination and harassment from the school, faculty or host university. (If that were so, Dean Gerken would have been fired in 2017 for what we now see through Black Lives Matter eyes, as a blatantly racist handling of on-campus race and free-speech matters back then. Her racist behavior is now classified as a "Karen," complete with requisite blonde hair.) (purchase a copy of the ABA Standards for Accreditation for $15)
If there is not already a course of study, it would behoove first-year students to review the ABA Standards, to not only understand their faculty’s minimal obligations, but to also petition changes and clarifications. The words “Ethics” and “Integrity” are no where to be found in the ABA Standards, seemingly left to individual law schools to create their own codes. Yale Law School has one, but as they do not honor their code of ethics, no one exists to enforce it.
PS- If you wanted to know what it was like having me as a tenant through this episode: my rent was always paid on time.
The Evidence Appendices
Let Your Voice Be Heard!
I have been a corruption-fighting army of one and could use your help making New York City a better place to live. It's all about letting people know. If you would, beside sharing this link everywhere, please take a minute to email some of the leading players and let them know your feelings.
Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken
Yale University President Peter Solovey
NYC District Attorney Cyrus Vance
NYC Public Advocate Jumanne Williams
NYS Attorney General Leticia James
Email New York Times for never covering the story
American Bar Association
NYC Building Commissioner