Bronx Man Claims Neighbor Is Using 311 Complaint Hotline To Harass Him

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Bronx man said he’s on the wrong side of the city’s complaint hotline — someone’s using 311 to complain about him.

He called it harassment, and now he’s hoping that something can be done to stop it.

As CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported, records show that Paul Calderone has received 68 summonses over the past two years about things like plumbing, electricity, even two cars parked in his driveway — all of which originated with anonymous calls to 311.

So, why has he been targeted?

“That’s a good question, I have no idea,” he said.

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto said Calderone is a victim.

“Some bullying neighbor has been reporting him just to aggravate,” he said, “We’ve seen 66 of the 68 have been dismissed.”

CBS2 tried to ask the neighbor that Calderone accused of using 311 to harass him for his side of the story, but he wouldn’t talk.

“I’m not having any comment right now,” he said.

Several of the complaints revolve around a deck which Calderon said was already built when he bought the house 12 years ago.

On that issue, the neighbor has a point. The Department of Buildings told CBS2 that, “we have explained to the owner multiple times that his deck was constructed illegally, and could pose a danger to anyone who uses it. The homeowner either needs to get a permit to fix the deck or take it down.”

As for the repeat inspections, the DOB said it is legally required to respond to every complaint it receives from 311.

“They have to act on complaints, but there’s a pattern as there is in this case that means Mr. Calderone has to go down, waste his own time,” Benedetto said.

Calderone just wants one thing.

“Peace and quiet,” he said.

Peace and quiet, the Department of Buildings said he’ll be closer to getting once the final two violations on his property are up to code.

CBS2 reached out to the city about the role the 311 system plays in the story, a spokesperson said 311 is a service intake system and that repeat inspections must be addressed with individual city agencies.

 

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