A landlord was fined nearly $10,000 for removing the toilet and other fixtures from a basement apartment to get his tenant to move out.
The Rockland Board of Health issued the fine to Fausto Pinos on Wednesday. He had been charged with 24 housing code violations for conditions in the building in Spring Valley, a town north of New York City.
"The people living there were subjected to appalling conditions that were not fit for human habitation," said Dr. Jeffrey Oppenheim, the health board's president. "It was just disgusting."
Pinos, of Bushkill, Pa., did not appear at the meeting, but his brother, Jesus Pinos, speaking on his behalf, said the landlord did not dispute the charges. He said Pinos thought that removing the toilet, bathtub, sink, oven and countertop would force the woman and her child to move.
County officials had been tipped off to problems in the apartment in early November by an agency that was trying to help the woman. Inspectors found numerous health and safety violations, including a roach infestation and sewage in the bathtub.
The Department of Health issued emergency violations letters to Fausto Pinos on Nov. 5, according to records. When inspectors visited the apartment again Nov. 17, they discovered that the toilet and other fixtures had been removed.
The tenant told inspectors that Pinos removed the items the day before and told her to leave. But she said she had no other place to go.
The Department of Social Services helped relocate the woman and her child.
There was no listing for a Fausto Pinos in Bushkill, Pa.