Astor Place Newsman Gets a Reprieve Backed by De Blasio

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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A newsstand operator who lost his right to take over a vending license will get to reopen his shuttered stand after he appealed to Mayor Bill de Blasio directly during an open house. Jerry Delakas, 64, has been battling City Hall since 2011, when the owner of the license he was subleasing died, and the city told him he had no right to inherit it. Delakas, running out of options, managed to score tickets to an open house at Gracie Mansion, where he made a seconds-long pitch to De Blasio during a receiving line. De Blasio told Delakas his stand was a "great place," and promised his aides would get on the case, the New York Post reported.

By Friday, the city had agreed to issue Delakas a license to operate the stand, though he still must pay $9,000 in fines. "It wouldn’t have settled without Bill de Blasio," Delakas's lawyer told the New York Times, saying the move was "the first of the callous Bloomberg actions toward the little guy" to be reversed. De Blasio's office was a bit more reserved, saying, "We are glad we could reach an outcome that ensures Jerry’s will remain a part of this community for years to come. The stand should be open for business today.