Former councilman Alex Mendez accused his main rival ex-councilman William McKoy of “breaking the law” for allegedly renting the attic of a house on Carbon Street.
Mendez made the allegation during a televised debate at City Hall on Friday. He held up rent receipts for viewers to see as he made the assertion.
“You have this house on 133-135 Carbon Street, where you have illegal basement and attic rented,” said Mendez directly to McKoy at the debate. “You know the law. You are a legislator. You always talk about integrity. You always talk about being honest. Why are you breaking the law?”
McKoy did not immediately deny the allegations made by Mendez at the debate.
McKoy said Mendez has been playing a “game.” He called Mendez’s move “underhanded” and “despicable.” He accused a man named Keith Watson of collaborating with Mendez. Sources said Watson is the father of McKoy’s son’s girlfriend. McKoy at the debate suggested Watson’s daughter and grandchild would have been on the street had he not given them space in the attic. Mendez has somehow injected himself into a family squabble.
McKoy did not respond to a call for comment on Monday morning.
Attics and basements usually lack the required egresses, making them a safety hazard. Such spaces should not be rented, said officials. Mendez accused McKoy of putting people at risk by renting the attic.
Mendez will have to file a complaint if he wants the city to investigate and take actions. Municipal officials received a complaint about the attic apartment earlier in the year. Officials said inspectors were dispatched to the location and found the attic was vacant.
Mendez said one of his supporters sent him the rent receipts after McKoy accused him of trying to legalize basements and attics. His campaign provided three rent receipts that shows a tenant paid $600 a month in rent. Rent receipts are dated May, June, and July. He said the receipts are for the attic. Mendez did not have any evidence McKoy was renting the basement. Mendez never promised to legalize basements and attics, he said. Former school board member Pedro Rodriguez did during the mayoral race in 2018.
Mendez came under heavy attacks from McKoy at a previous debate over his pending voter and election fraud charges. Mendez has been charged with election fraud related to the May race. A judge blocked him from taking office because of fraud in the May race, triggering a fresh election on November 3. Mendez has denied the charges.
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