Volume 17, Number 39 | February 17-23, 2005

Under Cover

Déjà Judge
Supporters of attorney Lynne Stewart, convicted this week of aiding her terrorist client, may be able to take heart in the fact she will be sentenced by Federal Judge John Koeltl, who showed leniency four years ago when he put away another popular Downtown figure, Anne Compoccia, former chairperson of C.B. 1. Compoccia pleaded guilty to taking about $85,000 in city rent money she collected for the Mulberry St. Mall, and Koeltl sentenced her to five months in a half-way house plus five months of confinement in her Tribeca apartment. The judge, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, gave Compoccia the minimum he was permitted to under the sentencing guidelines. He said he was moved by the 200-plus letters he received on Compoccia’s behalf. “The letters were extraordinary both in their number and in the depths of feelings that they expressed…,” Koeltl said in 2001. “[The letters] reflect support for the defendant across a wide spectrum of the city, religious leaders, present and past political leaders, and just as important, fellow citizens who know the defendant and benefited from her work.” Among the leaders who wrote on Compoccia’s behalf were former Mayor Ed Koch, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Carl Weisbrod, Downtown Alliance president, and Compoccia’s successor at C.B. 1, Madelyn Wils. Stewart is not likely to get that level of support from establishment figures, but she may surpass Compoccia in scribe quantity as the attorney is already organizing a letter-writing campaign to Koeltl, who now has more sentencing leeway due to a recent Supreme Court decision. Stewart will go before Judge Koeltl in July.

90 West Gets Naked
Reconstructive surgery does wonders for a 99-year-old gal. The Cass Gilbert-designed darling of Downtown, 90 West St., shimmied out of its scaffolding this week, revealing its restored Beaux-Arts façade. Dubbed the “miracle of 9/11,” the architect Peter Levenson has been busy restoring the Sept. 11-ravaged building to its turn-of-the-century glory.

But tenants may not be banging down the doors for the luxury digs anytime soon, says a Downtown source. “What I want to know is who in the hell is going to move into 90 West St.?” she said. “Literally every side of you except for directly south there’s going to be massive construction for the next four or five years. And what if they bury West St? You couldn’t even get there. Why would anybody pay that kind of money to be in the middle of construction hell?”

Twin Arrival
Julie Menin, founder of Wall Street Rising, and husband Bruce have a new arrival. Make that two. Little Mason and his bouncing brother Lucas were born at 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Feb. 15. Weighing in around 6 lbs and 7 lbs each, the two have an older bro’ to contend with, Max, who was born in 2003, while busy mom sat on the World Trade Center memorial design jury.

Cliff Climbing
The miraculously restored A and C lines may have freed most Downtowners from a life of frustration, but the N.Y.U. co-eds over at 15 Cliff St. have been battling transportation woes of a much more vertical magnitude. For the past two weeks, broken elevators from a Jan. 29 sprinkler fire have transformed the 31-story building into a self-made StairMaster, forcing the lot to climb as many as 30 flights.

Good news is on the way for the building’s 323 residents, building superintendent Paul Kopaz told Washington Square News, a student publication. Once parts arrive, the elevators should be running full force within a few days, although one is running at a slower pace already.

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