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State Reaches Settlement With Syracuse Landlord Over Lead Paints


A settlement-in-principle has been reached by the state with Syracuse landlord William D’Angelo and his company Marpat LLC for failing to properly address lead-based paint hazards at rental properties he owned. As a result of the agreement, D’Angelo will pay $310,000, which will be used for a tenant relief fund that will provide payments to families of the children who were lead-poisoned in the D’Angelo properties. The funds will also be used to identify and resolve all potential lead hazards at D’Angelo’s properties with a history of lead violations.

“William D’Angelo cut corners and failed to address serious lead hazards at his properties, putting countless children and their families in danger,” said Attorney General James. “In Syracuse and throughout New York state, the life-changing health impacts of lead exposure disproportionately affect children of color. My office will always fight to protect children from lead poisoning and work with our partners in government and advocacy to keep families safe. I am grateful to County Executive McMahon and Mayor Walsh for standing with us against this public health crisis.”

In July 2023, Attorney General James, County Executive McMahon, and Mayor Walsh filed a lawsuit against D’Angelo and his company, alleging that he repeatedly and persistently violated lead safety laws at nearly two dozen rental properties in Syracuse. Over the past eight years, there were at least 360 violations of lead safety laws at properties owned by D’Angelo. At least 16 children, 11 of them children of color, were poisoned by lead while living at these properties.

Lead-based paint in residential housing is a pervasive problem in Syracuse, where 81 percent of the housing stock was built before lead-based paint was banned in New York in 1970. Lead poisoning in Onondaga County is highest among children of color, the majority of whom live in Syracuse. In 2022, 510 children in Onondaga County had elevated levels of lead in their blood, and 90 percent of those children lived in Syracuse. More than 11 percent of the Black children tested in 2021 had elevated blood lead levels, compared to just two percent of white children tested.

Over the last 30 years, D’Angelo has owned and managed at least 48 rental properties with at least 116 individual rental units in Syracuse. According to city and county records, all of D’Angelo’s rental properties were built prior to 1940, and therefore are all presumed to contain lead-based paint. Most of these properties are in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.

D’Angelo currently owns 39 rental properties in and around Syracuse, 22 of which have had lead-related violations. As a result of the settlement-in-principle, D’Angelo will pay $310,000: $80,000 will go to current and former tenants harmed by lead paint exposure at the properties he owned over the past eight years and $230,000 will fund the identification and resolution of lead hazards at the 22 currently owned properties with lead-related violations. Further, D’Angelo will be barred from selling any of these properties without the OAG’s approval until all lead hazards have been resolved

“My administration has fought to secure millions of dollars in historic funding to address the scourge that lead has had on our community. In order to make real progress, however, we need partners at all levels of government,” said Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon. “Thank you to Attorney General James and Mayor Walsh for their efforts to ensure we have a unified front that holds irresponsible landlords accountable while making the necessary improvements to provide safe housing for members of our community.”

“With the help of Attorney General James, this settlement sends a powerful message to careless landlords: you can’t escape your responsibility to provide a safe and healthy living environment for your tenants,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. “In partnership with Attorney General James and County Executive McMahon, we will continue to use the tools and authority we have available to hold bad landlords accountable and protect children and families from the effects of lead exposure.”

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