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Lawyer Named In Viral Racist Rant Loses Office Space; Call Mounts For Court System Discipline

May 17, 2018 - 10:40 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The landlord who provided office space for Manhattan attorney Aaron Schlossberg has kicked him out of the building, after Schlossberg was identified as the man who went on a racist rant in a Midtown restaurant.

Two elected officials have also called for Schlossberg to be disciplined by the court system.

Hayim Grant, president of Corporate Suites, confirmed to WCBS 880 that the company has terminated its agreement with Schlossberg to provide office space for his law firm on Madison Avenue.

"Corporate Suites has a diverse and global community of business professionals working in a rich environment with mutual respect,” Grant said in a statement. “We found Mr. Schlossberg's statements offensive and contrary to our community norms."

Schlossberg was not under lease at the office, but used the business center and services for his business address, phone services and to meet with his clients, Grant said.

Schlossberg quickly became the most hated person on the internet this week after cellphone video showed him threatening to call federal immigration officials after he heard workers at a Fresh Kitchen on Madison Avenue speaking Spanish with customers.

Meanwhile, newly released footage apparently shows Schlossberg calling a complete stranger "an ugly f------ foreigner" during an encounter on Fifth Avenue in October 2016.

"What country are you from? Who are you? I'm going to call the police. You don't run into people. I'm a citizen here, you're not. You're an ugly f------ foreigner, so f--- you," he says to a man, identified as Willie Morris, a white man from Massachusetts who has lived in New York City for the past few years.

In the video, Morris said the man believed to be Schlossberg had bumped into him on the sidewalk and then exploded.

"This man literally just ran into me, and is going crazy," Morris says.

Video of the tirade at the restaurant has been viewed more than 4.8 million since it was posted Tuesday on Facebook.

"Your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English," he tells the manager in the minute-long clip. "Every person I listen to, he spoke it, he spoke it, she's speaking it. It's America. Your staff should be speaking English."

He then threatens to contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"I will be following up and my guess is they're not documented so my next call is to ICE to have each one of them kicked out of my country," the man says. "If they have the balls to come here and live off of my money -- I pay for their welfare, I pay for their ability to be here, the least they could do is speak English. You understand? If you intend on running a place in Midtown Manhattan your staff should be speaking English, not Spanish."

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-New York) and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. have now filed a grievance against Schlossberg with the court system.

In a letter, Espaillat and Diaz wrote, “The audacity to profile and verbally assault innocent bystanders and customers in a public commercial location is a violation of our civil society. We watched Aaron’s video and we were disgusted.”

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, Espaillat said he has spoken to the head of the disciplinary committee, and they are looking at his viral rant and his threats to call ICE under the rules of ethics that are supposed to guide lawyers.

Of the committee’s actions, Espiallat said: "Whatever they see fit as punishment. Anything from probation from practicing to a suspension or even a revocation of the license could occur. I think that he should not be slapped on the wrist and that he should be held accountable for what he said."

A spokesman for Espaillat said they are not reaching out to the Bar Association to try to get Schlossberg disbarred or ruin him.

Of Schlossberg’s actions, Diaz said: "It was disgusting. It was egregious. It is unacceptable. And when you're speaking of an attorney this guy should know better."

When Lamb asked Diaz if there was one Spanish word that described Schlossberg, Diaz said, “Idiota!

On Thursday, a reporter for PIX11 confronted Schlossberg in court in Queens. The attorney did not comment on the videos.

There's a campaign on Change.org calling for Schlossberg's disbarment and one man is raising money to send a mariachi band to the lawyer's Madison Avenue office. His law firm also received a stream of negative reviews on Yelp, which has posted an active cleanup alert on the site.

The video from the restaurant caught the notice of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who issued a tweet saying New Yorkers speak more than 200 different languages and are all welcome.

Also on Twitter, former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said "this bigot must be exposed."

Records show Schlossberg donated $500 to Donald Trump's presidential campaign and according to The Daily News was seen in another video standing with Trump supporters and cursing during a rally protesting a Palestinian speaker last year.

A former neighbor told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell that Schlossberg "is not a good person."

Attempts by WCBS 880 to reach out to Schlossberg were unsuccessful.