February 27, 2023
Hon. Letitia James
Office of the Attorney General
Albany, NY 12224-0341
Dear Attorney General James:
I write to request your investigation into the recent sale of Mayor George Kalaj’s residence in the Village of South Blooming Grove, Orange County. The home, located at 58 Fort Worth Place, was sold on March 7, 2022, just one week prior to the village election in which Mayor Kalaj, an uncontested candidate, was
reelected to another 4-year term.
Mayor Kalaj’s residence, a modest 2,026-square-foot raised ranch situated on 21 acres, was sold to a newly formed entity called Fort Worth Holdings LLC for $4.6 million. The Mayor’s new place of residence has yet to be disclosed to the public despite repeated requests for this information, and Mayor Kalaj has been largely unavailable for meetings with the public in recent months, signaling a possible
violation of NYS Public Officers Law requiring that individuals holding public office be residents of the municipality in which they serve.
Causing further concern, it is apparent that Mayor Kalaj has profited tremendously from this deal, as the final sales price was more than 890% higher than the property’s assessed full market value. Intended use of the property is still speculative. Reports state that local donors supplied $7.5 million at the time of closing, suggesting either that the property was immediately resold to another buyer, or that an additional $2.9 million went unaccounted for during the transfer.
Transparency regarding this real estate transaction as well as clarification of the Mayor’s current residence is long past due. In order to protect the electorate of South Blooming Grove, I respectfully request your office’s immediate intervention.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter as well as your service to our state. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office if I can be of any assistance.
Senator, 42nd District