Bharara helps two co-op owners keep service dogs

Written By kom nampuldu on Jumat, 20 Maret 2015 | 18.18

Three mentally ill co-op owners got mixed results after help from US Attorney Preet Bharara in a long battle with their Lower East Side building's management company to keep their service dogs.

Under a settlement ironed out Thursday in Manhattan federal court, East River Housing Corp. agreed to pay co-op owners Amy Einsenberg and Steven Gilbert $55,000 and $30,000 each, respectively, and let them keep their service pets.

However, Stephanie Aaron, 53, must either find a new place to live in one year or a new owner for her pooch after neighbors complained that her pet was too loud and violent.

Bharara had filed suit against East River Housing alleging it was violating the Fair Housing Act by ordering people who rely on service pets to remove them or face eviction.

He was able to convince a federal judge to issue temporary restraining orders blocking the evictions of the three co-op owners until the suit was resolved.

East River attorney Bradley Silverbush said he believes the settlement was "fair and reasonable."

But Aaron must get rid of her dog, despite her claims, and those of her psychiatrist, that it helped her combat depression and anxiety after she took in the stray in 2012.

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