LYNN (CBS) — A Lynn landlord who allegedly threatened to report his tenants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if they told of the dangerous and unsanitary conditions in his apartments is now being sued by Attorney General Maura Healey.
“This landlord tormented his tenants, causing them to fear for their own safety. No one should have to live like that. We are suing to protect the rights of these tenants and to prevent any future tenant from having to suffer this kind of abuse in their own home,” Healey said in a prepared statement.READ MORE: 'Just Do The Right Thing': MBTA Bus Driver Finds Purse In Road, Returns It To Owner
Healey alleges that She Ling Wang harassed, intimidated and physically threatened Latinx tenants and their families to prevent them from reporting living conditions that included cockroach and mice infestations, damaged walls and ceilings, broken windows, leaks and non-functioning smoke detectors. Healy said Wang also entered the apartments without notice or permission. If tenants complained, Wang allegedly called them names and said the building was his house and he could do what he wanted.READ MORE: Air Quality Alert Issued As Massachusetts Fire Departments Field Smoke Reports From Western Wildfires
One tenant who complained was arrested, and subsequently released, by ICE. Another tenant complained Wang came to her apartment to fix a broken smoke detector and threw part of the smoke detector at her and threatened to call ICE if she reported the apartment’s unsanitary conditions. A former tenant claimed that when she asked Wang for help with repairs, he went into her apartment, grabbed her by the collar and began shaking her.MORE NEWS: Indoor Mask Mandate Begins In Provincetown Due To COVID Cluster
The lawsuit is seeking civil penalties and restitution for the tenants.