STATEN ISLAND — A developer who was one of the first to join the New York Wheel project claims his partners are trying to push him out of the deal — partly because he's Jewish.
Meir Laufer, chairman of the wheel's board of directors, filed a lawsuit claiming the other investors excluded him from investment and management decisions and restructured the corporation to diminish his stake, the Real Deal reported.
In the court documents, Laufer claims one of the reasons he was pushed out was his religion.
"Because of his Hasidic garb and ethnic appearance, Laufer was treated differently than other investors and board members," the court documents obtained by the Real Deal read.
"[Rich] Marin was even so bold as to tell Laufer that, in order to attract investors, the project could not have 'more than one board member from your community.'"
Laufer also said he was kept out of press conferences, did not get project updates, was prohibited from speaking publicly about the project and was even told by developer Rich Marin to "suck a d--k," the Real Deal reported.
His group, Plaza Capital Management, was one of the first to express interest in the site when the city released a request for proposals in 2012.
A spokeswoman for the New York Wheel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.