Spring Valley landlord faces thousands in fines, court orders

Officials in Rockland found violations at 17 John St. in Spring Valley last week after a fire.

Diane Caruso

Jan 17, 2024, 10:34 PM

Updated 186 days ago

Share:

A landlord in Rockland faces thousands of dollars in fines and was ordered by a state Supreme Court judge this week to have the property vacated and to fix violations.
Officials in Rockland found violations at 17 John St. in Spring Valley last week after a fire.
"It's an accident, again, waiting to happen. Thank god no one else was severely injured in this minor event,” said Ed Markunas, the director of Rockland’s Office of Buildings and Codes, OBC. “But it uncovered the illegal occupancies."
 
Markunas says inspectors found the following inside, “The living room was converted into a bedroom. The dining room was converted into a bedroom. The basement had three bedrooms in it."
 
He adds they believe a candle started the flames which was in a closet that was used as a bedroom.
 
He believes upwards of 16 people were living there in the house that is supposed to be a single family, two-bedroom home. 
 
The owner, Joel Fekete of Brooklyn, is now facing $11,750 in fines from the department.
 
"We are here to protect the people,” said Markunas. 
 
This week state Supreme Court Judge Thomas Zugibe granted Rockland county a temporary restraining order to have the Spring Valley home vacated and violations fixed.
 
The matter is expected back in court later this month. 
 
Fekete did not answer any questions by phone Wednesday afternoon. 
 
OBC is now looking into other homes in Spring Valley owned by him. 
 
News 12 is told he owns eight homes in the village and two more in other parts of the county. 
 


More from News 12
President Biden announces end of 2024 bid for presidency; endorses VP Kamala Harris for pick

President Biden announces end of 2024 bid for presidency; endorses VP Kamala Harris for pick

1:58
Sun and clouds, mild temps for Monday in the Hudson Valley

Sun and clouds, mild temps for Monday in the Hudson Valley

Gov. Hochul endorses VP Kamala Harris for president after Biden ends reelection bid

Gov. Hochul endorses VP Kamala Harris for president after Biden ends reelection bid

2:08
National and local lawmakers stunned by Biden's decision not to seek reelection

National and local lawmakers stunned by Biden's decision not to seek reelection

Officials release statements following President Biden's decision to end reelection bid

Officials release statements following President Biden's decision to end reelection bid

2:01
Biden dropped out. What's next?

Biden dropped out. What's next?

1:14
Yonkers residents feel mixed about Biden's decision to end presidential bid

Yonkers residents feel mixed about Biden's decision to end presidential bid

1:24
Voters in White Plains shocked on Biden's decision to end reelection bid

Voters in White Plains shocked on Biden's decision to end reelection bid

1:36
Political analyst: Biden's decision to end reelection bid should have come sooner

Political analyst: Biden's decision to end reelection bid should have come sooner

1:53
Westchester Democratic chair discusses impact of Biden's decision to drop out of 2024 race

Westchester Democratic chair discusses impact of Biden's decision to drop out of 2024 race

0:59
Sen. Shelley Mayer partners with young volunteers to cleanup Port Chester

Sen. Shelley Mayer partners with young volunteers to cleanup Port Chester

Freedom Fest event honors veterans in Orange County

Freedom Fest event honors veterans in Orange County

0:30
Police: 2 arrested for stealing $10,000 worth of gardening supplies from Mamaroneck store

Police: 2 arrested for stealing $10,000 worth of gardening supplies from Mamaroneck store

0:34
Over 1,600 U.S. flights canceled Saturday due to global technology outage

Over 1,600 U.S. flights canceled Saturday due to global technology outage

1:30
Officials: Calls to 988 have increased since its creation 2 years ago

Officials: Calls to 988 have increased since its creation 2 years ago

2:02
Family, friends memorialize former Westchester County legislator Herman Keith

Family, friends memorialize former Westchester County legislator Herman Keith

1:51
Community barbecue in White Plains spreads positivity, honors late residents

Community barbecue in White Plains spreads positivity, honors late residents

1:14
Yonkers recognizes National Park and Recreation Month

Yonkers recognizes National Park and Recreation Month

1:51
Police: Toddler hit by car in Rockland County, left critically injured

Police: Toddler hit by car in Rockland County, left critically injured

0:27
Police: Yonkers man tried to sell narcotic stronger than fentanyl to undercover officer

Police: Yonkers man tried to sell narcotic stronger than fentanyl to undercover officer