Criminal Justice

Lawyer agrees to pay restitution for removing cameras outside his client's apartment

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A Manhattan lawyer who took down surveillance cameras he believed were intended to harass his 94-year-client has agreed to pay $720 in restitution.

Appearing in criminal court on Monday, lawyer Arthur Schwartz agreed to pay the money, report the New York Post and the New York Law Journal. A pending petit larceny charge was dismissed, according to the New York Law Journal.

Schwartz represents and is legal guardian to Ruth Berk, who has been sued for nonpayment of rent. Schwartz contended the cameras were placed outside Berk’s rent-controlled apartment to harass Berk and drive her out of the apartment. He also says Berk won’t pay back rent until building code violations are fixed, the New York Post reports.

“I would gladly pay a small sum again if it helped abate the harassment of an elderly person by a landlord,” Schwartz said in a written statement for reporters.

Schwartz previously said he had turned the devices over to the Attorney General’s office. He was nonetheless charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, but the charge was later reduced.

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