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Astor Newsstand Operator Suffers Supreme Setback, Stars in Documentary

The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court has affirmed the city’s decision to evict the longtime operator of a newsstand at Astor Place — though a strongly-worded dissenting opinion has given the Greek immigrant a glimmer of hope.

The latest blow to Jerry Delakas’s livelihood comes as the result of an arrangement made in 1987 with his friend, Katherine Ashley. Ms. Ashley was the owner of the license for the newsstand, and Mr. Delakas paid her $75 a week to work there. When Ms. Ashley died in 2006, she wrote in her will that Mr. Delakas should inherit the license. It subsequently passed to other family members while Mr. Delakas continued to operate the stand. Last year, the Department of Consumer Affairs refused to let Ms. Ashley’s estate and then Mr. Delakas renew the license on the grounds that the deal was illegal.

The appellate division of the State Supreme Court concurred with that argument in a ruling filed late last month. Mr. Delakas “had to be aware of the illicit, under the table arrangement he facilitated by his payments to three separate owners beginning as far back as 1987,” reads the ruling, which is below. Read more…