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Councilwoman Got Landlord Jailed, He Says

BROOKLYN (CN) - A New York City councilwoman flexed her political muscle to have police arrest the landlord who plastered his building with signs calling her a "deadbeat tenant," the landlord says in a federal complaint.

Robert Mulzac, a retired lieutenant with the city fire department, filed the complaint Sunday against Darlene Mealy, a member of the City Council representing the 41st District in Brooklyn.

Mulzac says Mealy moved into the commercial space of his apartment building on 203 Ralph Ave. in the spring of 2013, but stopped paying the $1,250 a month rent in January 2014.

After failing to make any headway with Mealy, the landlord allegedly discovered on Aug. 27 that she had changed the locks.

Mulzac admits that at that point he "put up signs on the side of the building informing the public that defendant Mealy had not paid her rent since January."

As pictured in an article by the New York Post, Mulzac put white banners across three fire escapes, with giant red-and-black text reading, in part: "Councilwoman Darlene Mealy is a deadbeat tenant," "this is another prime example of one local elected official who has failed me, you and this community."

Mealy called the cops and "used her position and influence to have my client arrested on false pretenses," Mulzac's attorney, Alexis Padilla, said in an interview.

But "this was a civil dispute, it's not a criminal matter," Padilla added. "Police just went with what she said. [Mulzac] didn't break any laws."

Mulzac ended up spending the night in the clink, but all charges against him were dropped.

Mulzac seeks unspecified damages for civil rights violations, false arrest and malicious prosecution. He also sued the City of New York and the arresting officer.

A spokeswoman from Mealy's office declined to comment Tuesday.

Mealy joined the city council in 2006 and was re-elected in 2010, according to her City Council bio.

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