JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP/1010 WINS) — A New Jersey judge has demanded that the imam who wants to build a mosque near Ground Zero produce documents proving he is fixing numerous alleged problems at two apartment buildings he owns in northern New Jersey.CBSN New York & CBS2 Presents Candidate Conversations, Interviews With Leading Contenders In The Race For NYC Mayor
State Superior Court Judge Thomas Olivieri told a lawyer for Feisal Abdul Rauf to submit the documents by Thursday afternoon.
Olivieri chastised Rauf’s lawyer for being unprepared and failing to produce documents to prove work was being done to fix the apartment problems, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.
Attorney Tomas Espinosa told the judge Wednesday that some work is under way at the buildings.
“The legal process will show that my client is an honorable man,” Espinosa said.READ MORE: COVID Impact: Experts Say Loosening Of Mask-Wearing Restrictions Indoors Will Depend On Handful Of Factors
Rauf did not attend the hearing and his attorney said the imam made the decision because he has been under stress due to the Ground Zero mosque controversy.
Union City filed suit this week claiming that Rauf ignored safety violations at the two buildings he owns in the community.
The city’s attorney said there are bedbugs, no smoke alarms and no hot water at the apartments.
Both sides will be back in court next Thursday.MORE NEWS: New Newark Pilot Program Gives $6,000 A Year To Residents Facing Economic Insecurity
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)