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Post date: November 8 2007

Attorney General Cuomo's Guns, Gangs And Drugs Initiative Unveils "nowhere To Hide"

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 8, 2007) - New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo today unveiled "Nowhere to Hide" - a new program under his statewide Guns, Gangs and Drugs Initiative designed to take legal actions against landlords who permit the properties to be persistently used for criminal activities.

"The resources of my office will be used to target the owners of properties used by drug gangs and gun traffickers, and, at the same time, create safer neighborhoods for all New Yorkers," said Attorney General Cuomo. "Using statutory powers vested exclusively in the Attorney General, we will put a stop to landlords who allow their rental properties to be used to perpetuate criminal activity. Working cooperatively with our Upstate law enforcement partners and other agencies to take coordinated actions is crucial to fighting the crime epidemic across the state and is central to my office's ongoing initiatives against guns, gangs and drugs."

The Attorney General's "Nowhere to Hide" will be a key part of ongoing partnerships with communities across New York. The program is being launched today in Albany to help form a coordinated front to improve quality of life in several of the city's neighborhoods. It will work with a series of programs announced today by Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings and Albany Chief of Police James W. Tuffey.

Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings said, "As we kick off our "Block by Block" initiative, I want to express my sincerest gratitude to Attorney General Cuomo for his continued commitment to improving the quality of life, not only for Albany residents, but for all New Yorkers. The Attorney General's "Nowhere to Hide" program and his resources will prove an invaluable partnership as we collectively move forward with our coordinated and responsive action plan. This is the type of effort needed to make a lasting impact on our city's neighborhoods."

Albany Police Chief James W. Tuffey said, "As coordinator of the Mayor's "Block by Block" program, I, as well, am grateful to Attorney General Cuomo for the resources that his office will make available. As we deal with neglectful landlords - those whose properties are known to harbor criminal activity - our ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with the Attorney General's Office will yield positive results for all our neighborhoods and the citizens who want and deserve the highest quality of life possible."

"Nowhere to Hide" uses powers unique to the Attorney General's Office against landlords who allow persistent illegal activity at their properties. The program, starting today in Albany, will be deployed in other Upstate communities over the next several months as part of the Attorney General's ongoing Upstate Guns, Gangs and Drugs Initiative. The program will accomplish the following:

  • The Identification of properties that pose the greatest threat to communities
  • The committing of investigators and legal staff from the Attorney General's Office to gather and develop the necessary evidence
  • The filing of lawsuits against landlords seeking court orders to stop the illegal conduct from continuing at the properties.

"I want to applaud Mayor Jennings for his "Block by Block" initiative and his commitment to improving the quality of life in Albany," said Attorney General Cuomo. "Cooperative efforts between my office and our Upstate law enforcement partners, like those announced today, will have a significant impact on crime and can have a positive and lasting impact on the quality of life of all New Yorkers.

The primary legal authority for the "Nowhere to Hide" program exists in Real Property Law ? 231, which permits the Attorney General to commence a proceeding to enjoin a landlord and/or tenant from continuing unlawful trade, manufacture or business in a rental property, and Executive Law ? 63(12), which authorizes the Attorney General to bring a special proceeding for permanent injunctive relief where a person or business demonstrates repeated or persistent illegality in the carrying on, conducting or transaction of business.