Bronx councilman’s staff lawyer resigns amid backlash over Hells Angels deal

THUMPERRRR's picture

He’s getting the hell off the City Council staff.

Bronx Councilman Mark Gjonaj’s staff lawyer resigned amid growing outrage from the pol’s constituents over the attorney’s role helping the Hells Angels buy a new headquarters in their neighborhood.

“I will not allow my work as an attorney in private practice or what I do as a private citizen to be used as a weapon against you,” lawyer Edmond “Teddy” Pryor’s wrote in a Monday letter to Gjonaj.

“Therefore, after significant thought and reflection, I have decided to resign as your part-time Senior Advisor, effective today," he stated.

A woman who answered the phone at Pryor’s office Wednesday said he would not comment for this article. Gjonaj’s office declined to comment.

Pryor repped the Hells Angels in their August purchase of a building for their new headquarters in the quiet Throggs Neck neighborhood.

The Hells Angels recently bought a former American Legion property, at 241 Longstreet Ave. in the Soundview neighborhood of the Bronx, after the notorious motorcycle gang left their longtime club on the Lower East Side. The staff lawyer for Councilman Mark Gjonaj repped the gang in the deal.
The Hells Angels recently bought a former American Legion property, at 241 Longstreet Ave. in the Soundview neighborhood of the Bronx, after the notorious motorcycle gang left their longtime club on the Lower East Side. The staff lawyer for Councilman Mark Gjonaj repped the gang in the deal. (Trevor Boyer/for New York Daily News)

The move unnerved residents — and sparked outrage when they learned Gjonaj’s staff lawyer had facilitated it, though the councilman has tried to distance himself from the $1.25 million deal.

"That’s surprising to us," Awilda Cordero, who owns a home down the block from the bikers’ club, said of Pryor’s resignation. "There must have been something wrong that he did that he’s feeling guilty about.

Gjonaj “needs to give us an explanation and he needs to fix this problem now," she added. “Everyone in the neighborhood is scared.”

Last week, residents’ worst fears were realized when shots were fired at the Hells Angels’ 241 Longstreet Ave. headquarters. No one was injured in the late night incident, which was preceded by a train of motorcycles roaring down the street, though the building was damaged, according to the NYPD.

In addition to the headquarters deal, Pryor repped the Hells Angels in buying three nearby residential buildings for about $1.1 million. A lawyer who works alongside Pryor repped the motorcycle gang in buying a fourth residence, for $950,000. Residents believe the buildings will be used to house members of the group.

The lawyer in the $950,000 deal, John Parker, was previously hired by Gjonaj and local small business owners to sue the city Transportation Department.

When first asked about the headquarters deal, Gjonaj’s spokesman Reginald Johnson said, “The Councilman was only recently made aware of the sale. He expects the group to abide by all quality of life laws and ordinances. If they do not, he will work with law enforcement to ensure their compliance.”

With Trevor Boyer

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(Bill Ray/Getty Images)

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Shant Shahrigian
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