UPDATE: September 9, 2021: See Yassin’s response to this article below.
By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank Councilman Hazim Yassin hasn’t paid the rent on his apartment in 18 months and owes more than $29,000, his landlord alleges in a lawsuit.
Yassin, right, with Mayor Pasquale Menna, left, and business owner Anthony Barbera on Broad Street in July, 2020. Below, Yassin’s apartment on Branch Avenue. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
When the Monmouth County suit was filed, on March 4 of that year, Yassin owed $1,529, but a payment ledger filed by the landlord’s attorney last month put the latest total at $29,129.20.
Yassin, a lame duck whose bid for a second term was derailed in the June Democratic primary by political newcomer Jacqueline Sturdivant, did not respond to questions redbankgreen sent him via email Monday. The case docket does not list any filings by Yassin to answer the landlord’s claims.
The August 5 court filing by landlord’s attorney Adrienne LePore appears to mistakenly include a lease agreement and other materials associated with other tenants of the Molly Pitcher complex. But the payment ledger is identified as that of Yassin. LePore did not respond to redbankgreen emails.
After months of delays associated with the courthouse closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parties were ordered to participate in mandatory settlement talks on August 6, the docket shows. According to the court website, the matter remained listed as “not settled” as of early Wednesday.
Yassin, who this year holds the ceremonial title of council president, leased the apartment, his first residence in the borough, in September, 2017, just 14 months before he was elected to the council.
As reported by redbankgreen, his Republican opponents questioned Yassin’s rapid ascent through the party ranks within months of moving to town.
In response, Yassin, then 29 years old, told redbankgreen he had he moved to from his parents’ home in Lincroft “because I was financially able to move out on my own, and I chose Red Bank because it’s one of the greatest towns in New Jersey.”
Yassin’s father, Mahmoud Yassin, is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
At the time, Yassin said he worked at a unit of Wealth Advisory Group in South Brunswick, selling insurance and “bringing in clients” for securities and other products that colleagues are licensed to sell.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website, Yassin’s license as a producer expired in August, 2020, and remains inactive.
Yassin’s council term ends December 31. Sturdivant, along with incumbent Democrat Kate Triggiano, faces Republicans Jonathan Maciel Penney and Christine Stout on the November 2 ballot.
UPDATE: redbankgreen received this statement from Yassin on the evening or September 9:
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