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Syracuse landlord banned from renting after AG links properties to lead poisoning in kids

New York Attorney General Letitia James stands at a podium and delivers comments at a news conference.
Scott Willis
/
WAER News
New York Attorney General Letitia James stands at a podium and delivers comments at a news conference.

A Syracuse landlord is barred from managing rental units and must pay $215,000 under a newly reached agreement after more than a dozen children living in the owner's units came down with lead poisoning.

Attorney General Letitia James announced in a news release Monday her office reached a deal with landlord John Kiggins and his company Endzone Properties Inc. after her office's investigation found 18 children living in Endzone units came down with lead poisoning. The attorney general filed suit over the issue in October.

“Lead paint exposure is a dangerous scourge on New York’s communities that disproportionately impacts our Black and brown children,” James said in a statement. “All too often, unprincipled landlords like Endzone disregard their duty to ensure their properties are free of lead hazards and its harms.”

The office’s news release noted that the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County participated in negotiations to reach the agreement.

The investigation found 18 kids living in 17 Endzone properties came down with lead poisoning over a six-year period. During that same time, the city and county documented violations —such as chipped and peeling paint—at 32 Endzone properties. The investigation also accused the company of either failing to provide mandated lead disclosures or distributing false documents.

The properties are now under new ownership and the deficiencies have been addressed, the news release said. The fine paid by Endzone will go toward lead poisoning prevention and assistance for affected families.

Tarryn Mento is an award-winning digital, audio and video journalist with experience reporting from Arizona, Southern California, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Tarryn produces in-depth and investigative content for WAER while overseeing the station's student reporter experience. She is also an adjunct professor at Syracuse University.