Councilwoman Martinez Battling Housing Eviction By Attorney She Criticizes For Collection Action

The private attorney who has drawn the wrath of City Councilwoman Eneida Martinez has a collection action against her for failing to pay more than $10,000 in leaseholder fees, common charges and maintenance fees at her Wilmot Apartments residence on Connecticut Avenue, according to filings in Superior Court. The Bridgeport law firm of Juda Epstein, who Martinez has criticized for abusive collection action against her constituents regarding Water Pollution Control Authority user fees, filed the collection action against her December 20 on behalf of Wilmot Apartments. It seeks judgement for immediate possession of the premises. Martinez tells OIB a prior years-long collection complaint was recently tossed based on a technicality. In response the Epstein law firm recently refiled the new court complaint. See complaint here. Recent case history here. Martinez has legal counsel contesting the case and asserts her legal battle with Epstein has nothing to do with her criticism of the attorney.

“My case has nothing to do with my fight for the abuse of the WPCA,” Martinez stated in a text to OIB. “That shouldn’t even be part of the conversation of what is happening in the city. My case was regarding a strict foreclosure he filed at a co-op I own.”

Part of her criticism, she adds, centers on the inordinate amount of collection work Epstein receives from the City Attorney’s Office when “there are other qualifying attorneys that can be as efficient, but receive little or no cases from the city.”

The Ordinance Committee that Martinez co-chairs is scheduled to meet Monday at 5 p.m. to question the principals involved in WPCA collection cases including Epstein. OIB has left phone and email messages with Epstein seeking comment.

Share

24 comments

  1. So Epstein is the attorney attempting to collect thousands in unpaid mortgage and common fees from Ms. Martinez. It appears the battle has lasted about 5 years and Ms. Martinez is facing eviction, however we are to believe that Ms. Martinez is able to remain impartial regarding her criticism of Epstein.

    Ms. Martinez should recuse herself from all proceedings and discussion on the matter of Epstein and WPCA collections. It is impossible to remain objective and impartial.

    1. You make a good point, i think she should recuse hereself so it’s not used as a distraction. My concern is she is the only one with the backbone to fight the council WPCA fight.

      That said, the article does clearly state that here case was thrown out of court by a judge. That means Epstein did not prove the case in court and it got tosses after 5 years meaning at this minute, Martinez owes $0.00

      If i’m wrong someone correct me, but a case being thrown out means the money is not owed.

      1. Kelvin, the court action Epstein has filed is on behalf of Wilmot Apartments against Martinez. So Wilmot Apartments thinks it’s owed for non payment. Martinez had battled this case on her own and a judgment against her was issued by the court. Her current legal counsel managed to get it tossed based on a technicality as is sometimes the case involving prior pro se defendants unfamiliar with court proceedings. Now there’s a new round of litigation based on Epstein’s legal complaint. So as it happens with these kinds of cases it will take some time to reach resolution.

  2. I have known about and written here about the city attorneys office and the dealings with outside lawyers. I am happy to see the council finally getting involved. I must say that Martinez should excuse herself from this case including all duties involving this case with the council. her staying involved could cause problems for the council if this goes to court,there is no way could explain why she is still involved.

    1. Andy’s right!
      She just gave the City Attorneys office and other, the ( motion to quash ) the  subpoenas.
      They should be in court on Monday morning.
      A huge Conflict of interest.

  3. Maria Pereira makes an extremely valid point that is obvious to anyone that is not an idiot Eneida must recuse herself. 10,000 is not small pocket change and questionable for somebody looking for the support of her constituents. This is not a good day for Eneida and I might also say that I am saddened by her current predicament. She needs to make sure she gets a Jewish lawyer. You know. They are the best .

    I hope that Eneida makes the right decision to recuse herself. I do hope she can take care of her personal business andI am sorry for her that her “dirty laundry” was put on the blog for public humiliation.I can relate to that. This too shall pass.

    As Andy Fardy says, Pay what you owe! and we move on!!!

    1. To be clear, I am truly sorry for Eneida’s current situation and sorry it is connected to and ongoing investigation of WPCA. I can’t imagine how anybody gets 10,000 behind at the Wilmot Apts. but , everyone has their own story.Though none of my business , I hope her problems can be solved. The daily stress must be horrible.

        1. Surprise Derek Brown- I am looking to visit you this week. Steffi want to talk to you in person. I just asked Lennie where you are performing I just can not wait to see you. Then when I am done with you, Steffi may consider your request but not me!

          1. I’m looking forward to this meeting, Steffie. So is the management. Try any tough guy bullshit and you will be forcible ejected from the premises, on your head.

          2. Kid, I’ll try to be there to finally meet you, I know it will be a pleasure. I think you’re the “bomb.” If I don’t make it this coming week, it will be soon. Call me if you need me, I know you will love watching a woman kick Stephie’s sad ass.

  4. Derek Brown Please forget the above comment you are another one I have extended a hand to in the past and your disrespect is never ending.

    I did forget that you have a heart condition and are disabled. For that I am sorry. I m sorry it affected your career as a waiter and no offense but for fine writer and musician you really wasted your time. That being said Derek, if it gives you pleasure calling me by another name. I can not stop you. Makes you and that other person look like a joke. I have asked Lenny to have you stop commenting on my posts. He can not stop you, I can not stop you and if you are receiving some sort of joy thinking you are bullying me , who am I to deprive you of a little joy.

    I also want to Thank the unbelievable amount of calls, emails and texts regarding the last two childish conversations that had nothing to do with Lennie Grimaldi’s blog. Thank you for the support. I was shocked. Glad some felt entertained while others were outraged. Me I have become used to it.

    One last thing . I will be supprting Ernie Newton Monday evening at 5 pm at the common council chambers regarding this WPCA situation. Ethan Brooks if you are there it will be a pleasure.
    As always Lennie, Its a pleasure to be allowed to post.

    1. I agree BK – the obvious intent of this is to cast a shadow on her actions and motives. And maybe there is something personal to it. I can’t say and won’t speculate. but its not like this is something new. Lenny reported on this years ago – long before Ms. Martinez did for her constituents. See the links below – OIB posts from more than five years ago where this was an issue. Hopefully this diversion of focus onto Ms. Martinez is temporary and that the council pushes forward in getting some answers.

      http://onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/coviello-claims-judah-epstein-makes-millions-in-city-legal-fees/

      http://onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/the-legal-flood-over-a-water-bill/

  5. This is a non-story headline.
    Lets see what they have to say to the committee tonight.
    The state says the WPCA is an extension of the city. That is why they get to charge 18% interest on the balance. As such the WPCA must abide by the city bidding process. Juda Epstein may be an attorney but he does not have to be to be involved in user fee collection. Therefore he must bid the contract like any other contractor.
    This contract was GIVEN to him my Mark Anastasi and therefore circumvented the bidding process and is null and void.
    Next

      1. The performance of City attorney Mark Anastasi needs to be reviewed. It is clear that he misled/lied to the City Council Ordinance Committee. The question is how many other times has City Attorney Mark Anastasi misled/lied to other City Council meetings/issues and to all the other City Boards that he is used as a “legal” advisor?

Leave a Reply