Recently, after admitting that they finally “lost complete control” over the 749 Eastern Parkway dormitory, the United Lubavitcher Yeshiva administration decided to pay off the electric bill and close the account with Con-Edison. A few weeks later, the electrical service was physically disconnected, and the power was off for nearly a week – until Sunday night.
Con-Ed workers arrived at 749 Eastern Parkway on December 14th to remove the meters, only to be refused entry into the building. Instead, workers opened up the manhole in front of the building and cut the main cables.
749 remained dark for nearly a week, and around 20 dorm residents – most of whom are not registered yeshiva students – camped out in the downstairs Shul of 770.
Late Sunday night, December 20th, at around 2:30am, the lights briefly flickered on in 749. By the next morning, power had been fully restored to the Mikvah, and all the electrical panels in the building had been padlocked with signs stating that the electric was restored and demanding payments of $150 to $350 from each room depending on size.
Witnesses said that in the dead of night, at around 2:30am, two cars were placed around the manhole while they worked to illegally reconnect the cut service.
On Monday morning, a large Con-Ed crew arrived once again at 749 – presumably in response to reports about the illegally reconnected service – and made the shocking discovery that not only was the electricity reconnected, but that it had been done in an extremely unsafe manner, putting many lives at risk.
CrownHeights.info reached out to Con-Ed’s media relations department for comment, but no response was given at time of publication.
Stolen Gas Service
In 2014, following a fight between building residents and Mendy Hendel over use of the Mikvah, Hendel was ousted as administrator and the Mikvah was repeatedly vandalized. In response, Hendel closed the gas bill with National Grid and the meters were removed.
Months later, Hendel was informed that there was still heat and hot water in the Mikvah and reported this to National Grid. Upon inspection, they discovered that the gas was hooked up illegally by circumventing the closed-off pipes. In response, they shut the gas service off at the street level.
The Yeshiva then reached out to National Grid, informing them that no one has the right to restore the service without their permission.
Nevertheless, Levi Kabakov, a student who was expelled from the Yeshiva some four years ago, went and opened an account in his name, and National Grid restored gas service. Afterwards, they demanded from the Yeshiva – as the building owners – payment of $9,500 for the illegally obtained gas.
Residents told CrownHeights.info that Kabakov is the one behind the restoration of the electric service, and that they had to pay him for restoring electricity to the individual rooms. Kabakov is also allegedly the one who – until last week – was charging and collecting fees from residents for use of the Mikvah.