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Old 04-15-2019, 02:06 PM
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Default BLACK Former city councilcoon arrested for threatening tenant


Former city councilman arrested for threatening tenant
By Tina Moore and Craig McCarthy
April 14, 2019 | 3:48pm | Updated

A former city councilman tried to strong-arm tenants who run a hookah lounge in a Brooklyn building he owns — and now he’s facing charges, cops said Sunday.

Kendall Stewart, 68, allegedly broke down the office door at the East Flatbush business on Nostrand Avenue around 11:44 a.m. Friday and threatened a 40-year-old man in the dispute over money, cops said.

“I’m gonna come back here and take care of you,” the ex-Brooklyn councilman allegedly said.

Sure enough, Stewart returned the next day around 6 p.m. with three men and threatened a 24-year-old woman working at the lounge, cops said.

One of the men with Stewart pulled a gun, authorities said.

Stewart was charged with criminal mischief, harassment and menacing over the encounters, according to cops. The three goons who backed him up remain at large, and cops couldn’t immediately provide a detailed description of them.

Police sources said the dispute was over city fines. Area locals who declined to give their names added that they believe Stewart abruptly changed the building’s locks on his tenants amid the dispute.

The ground-floor business, 1744 Lounge, was slapped with $2,060 in penalties for operating a business without a valid permit and failure to provide an unobstructed exit in June 2016, according to city records. The business was previously called Cafe Omar.

When building inspectors returned the next month, the lounge still wasn’t in compliance, records show. That violation came with $5,039 in fines.

But both were paid, and the business was in compliance in June 2017, records show.

Stewart served on the City Council from 2002 to 2009, when he represented the 45th District, which covers the Flatbush, East Flatbush, Flatlands, Midwood and Canarsie neighborhoods.

The Democrat was voted out of office months after his former chief of staff and aide admitted to embezzling $200,000 of taxpayer money.

Steward was replaced by Jumaane Williams, who was elected earlier this year as city public advocate in a special election.

Stewart could not be reached for comment.

Both the hookah lounge and a karaoke venue it shares space with were closed Sunday evening, a shiny new padlock keeping the front door sealed up tight.

One local who declined to give his name said he saw two women he believed to be relatives of Stewart locking the joint up around 2:45 p.m.

The 68-year-old retired resident said that he was getting his haircut across the street from the lounge Saturday when he saw the ex-pol getting hauled off by cops.

“They handcuffed him, they put him in the police car, and they went away with him,” the witness said. “No one is above the law, not because he’s a [former] councilman or whatever.

“He can not do that.”
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