QUEENS TRIBUNE IS NOT A RELIABLE ADVERTISER Recent Developments:
Prior to publication, Michael Schenkler, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Queens Tribune, Lewis A. Fidler, the attorney
for Queens Tribune and an elected Councilman for the City
of New York, and Anthony J. Auciello, Mr. Fidler's assistant, were
provided with the results of our investigation.
Mr. Fidler responded by stating that Queens
Tribune, Mr. Auciello, and he would sue Mergent Services
if the results of our investigation were made
public. Subsequently, Mr. Fidler contacted Business
Watchdog and stated that he would also sue us if the results
of our investigation were made public.
In the Matter of QUEENS TRIBUNE, 150-50 14th Road,
Whitestone, NY 11357
Investigation No. 20622
mod. 10.4.12 (This report may be modified or withdrawn at our discretion as
rebuttal, additional information, or settlement documentation is provided).
Experiences advertising with Queens Tribune may differ.
Queens Tribune is not a
Mergent Services paid $8,239 to Queens Tribune for several
full-page advertisements. The advertisements were to be published on specific
days, on specific pages, and in all editions. However, the advertisements: 1)
were not published on all the required days, 2) were not published on the
required pages, and 3) were not published in all editions.
To compensate Mergent Services for the errors, Shelly Cookson, Queens
Tribune's Corporate & Legal Advertising
Representative, offered two additional full-page advertisements at
no charge. However, when Mergent Services contacted Ms. Cookson to run
the advertisements that were offered, Ms. Cookson refused to either run the
advertisements or refund a portion of the amount Mergent Services paid for the
Although complaints against Queens Tribune are unusual, in this instance,
Queens Tribune has shown itself not to be a good neighbor of the business
Queens Tribune is represented
by attorneys Lewis A. Fidler (who is also an elected Councilman for the City of
New York) and Anthony J. Auciello (Mr. Fidler's assistant). Mr. Fidler and Mr.
Auciello failed to appear and represent Queens Tribune in Civil Court (citation
below) on March 12, 2012, June 29, 2011, and March 11, 2009. As a result, these attorneys caused three (3) Default
Judgments to be entered against Queens Tribune, their client.
Recommendation No. 1
We do not recommend purchasing advertising from Queens Tribune until this
matter is resolved.
As a result of failing to
appear in Civil Court on three occasions and causing Default Judgments against
Queens Tribune a complaint against Mr. Fidler and Mr. Auciello should be filed
with the Grievance Committee for the Second Judicial District, Renaissance
Plaza, 335 Adams Street, Suite 2400, Brooklyn, NY
Queens Tribune is a weekly community publication. Founded by Gary
Ackerman (currently a U.S. Congressman) in 1970 as The Flushing
Tribune, it subsequently became Queens Tribune. Queens Tribune is
a generally respected publication that provides a valuable service to the Queens
Mergent Services is a local merchant and an affiliate of
Business Watchdog. Queens Tribune's failure to provide either the
paid-for advertisements or a refund has caused Mergent Services to lose funds it
paid for the advertisements and also lose the profits it expected from
Subsequently, Mergent Services filed a lawsuit
against Queens Tribune in the Civil Court of the City of New York, New York
County (Index No. 43038CV2008). The Civil Court ordered Queens Tribune to refund
Mergent Services $4,494 (a portion of the $8,239 that was paid to Queens
Tribune). To date, Queens Tribune has not refunded Mergent Services the $4,494.
Queens Tribune submitted two requests to the Civil Court to vacate a
default judgment against them. Both requests were denied. The
Civil Court found that Queens Tribune "did not provide a reasonable excuse for
its default" and "failed to demonstrate a meritorious defense." Queens Tribune
has filed a Notice of Appeal.
LEWIS A. FIDLER
Mr. Fidler's law firm is
Roberts & Fidler. In addition to his law practice, Mr. Fidler is also an
elected Councilman for the City of New York. We believe Mr. Fidler should either represent his constituents or practice law, not both.
We will continue to monitor and update this matter until its