Kushner Claim of Political Bias in Nixed Subsidy Tossed by Judge

David Kocieniewski

(Bloomberg) -- A federal judge dismissed a Kushner Companies’ lawsuit alleging that the mayor of heavily Democratic Jersey City, New Jersey, unfairly denied the company tens of millions of dollars in tax subsidies because of the family’s close ties to President Donald Trump.Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop had supported a package of $93 million in tax abatements and subsidized loans the Kushners were promised by the city and state in 2015 to build two 56-story towers at Journal Square in downtown Jersey City. But a major partner in the project, WeWork Companies, backed out of the deal in 2016. When the Kushners submitted a new application for $30 million in city-issued bonds in April 2017, Fulop opposed the subsidies.Kushner Cos sued, saying the mayor’s opposition was motivated by political bias because Jared Kushner, the former CEO of Kushner Cos, is the son-in-law and senior adviser to the president. Trump has been the target of numerous protests in Jersey City.U.S. District Court Judge John Vazquez said company’s arguments were unpersuasive because more than a year had lapsed between Kushner joining the administration and Jersey City’s move to issue a notice of default on the $900 million project, effectively ending the company’s application for the subsidized bonds.Fulop applauded the judge’s ruling.“The court saw right through the smoke and mirrors, and we stood firm, refusing to be bullied regardless of a company’s name,” Fulop said in a press release. “Our decisions are always in our residents’ best interest, and we were not about to back down despite the many, very public attempts to drag my name and the city’s credibility through the mud.”

Kushners Cos’ lawyer, Joseph Fiorenzo, didn’t responed to requests for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Kocieniewski in New York at dkocieniewsk@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Joe Schneider

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