Jerry Delakas set up shop in the Astor Place triangle in 1987. Over the years he and his newsstand became a fixture in the area even appeared on magazine covers.
Things were going great until a few years ago when the city realized Delakas had been operating on someone else's license and tried to evict him.
Delakas said he didn't think he was breaking the law.
A friend of jerry's initially allowed him to use her license for $75 a week. When the friend died she asked in her will that Delakas continue to operate under the license.
But when her husband died and the family's estate applied to have the license transferred to Delakas ' name the department of consumer affairs said no.
Jerry said he believes that over the years he became a part of the family and deserves to spend his final years on the corner
His attorney, Gil Aantamarina, said his client had a license that had somebody else's name on it, but everybody knew it and it was no secret.
But the city said the rules are the rules and Delakas has been breaking them for 25 years. And city officials said if they make an exception for him they'd have to do the same for dozens of others.
Despite a barrage of community support, Delakas lost his case in two lower courts. Now he is awaiting a decision from the court of appeals.
The court could rule any day.
The city issued two statements to Fox 5.
The Department of Law: "Mr. Delakas' back-door deal ripped off the City for 25 years. To embrace him as a neighborhood folk hero is an outrage. Mr. Delakas' illegal conduct took a business opportunity away from disabled veterans, elderly people and others who played by the vending rules and waited their turn. Mr. Delakas and his attorney lost in the lower court, they lost in the midlevel court, and they're trying to play a desperate 'hail Mary' to deflect from Mr. Delakas' long-term malfeasance."
The Department of Consumer Affairs: "The license holders for this newsstand repeatedly filed papers for many years stating that the newsstand was their principal employment, which was not true. They were renting out their stand to Mr. Delakas and after their deaths the City learned of this longstanding arrangement. According to the trial court's decision Mr. Delakas 'engaged in a fraudulent, under-the-table arrangement with the license holders and this decision was upheld by the Appellate Division. As a result of this arrangement, DCA could not transfer the license to Mr. Delakas."