When attorney Tom Corea moved his now-defunct legal practice into a 10,000-square foot Design District warehouse a year ago, he wasted little time in adding the Corea touch. He installed ostentatious mahogany-and-marble counters; covered the sidewalk with a glued-on rubber tread; and, in several rooms, installed Hugh Hefner-caliber deep scarlet.
He didn't get to enjoy his decorative flourishes for long, though. Corea was evicted from his Farrington Street office at midnight on Thursday after it became clear that Corea wasn't any better about paying his rent than about paying for anything else.
Vana Margolese, a California-based attorney who owns the property with her husband, said Corea called after receiving the eviction notice and politely asked for time to move out. But Corea, already facing criminal charges and a slew of civil lawsuits for allegedly screwing clients out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, was not about to let this latest indignity to go unavenged. As his landlord discovered later on Thursday morning, he completely trashed the place.
The landlord, who asked not to be identified for fear of being associated with Corea's handiwork, gave Unfair Park a tour of the wreckage that afternoon. The damage started at the front steps, where the metal hand-railing had been ripped out. The floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the steps had been spray-painted until every inch was an opaque white.
Inside, the floor was littered with garbage: empty boxes of legal documents; food wrappers; a broken Heineken bottle next to a wadded up Happy Birthday banner; putrid, half-eaten tuna packets; pieces of toilet paper, clearly used, by the toilet in the bathroom.
In one room, someone had taken a sledgehammer or similar implement to a granite counter top, which had been split in two. Another room had a hole through the sheetrock about the size and height of a grown man's lower leg. The kitchen faucet was snapped from his base, dangling next to an empty bottle of cheap sparkling wine.
A lot of stuff was simply missing, like every single one of the light fixtures, light switch plates, outlet covers, and thermostat. Gone, too, were both bathroom sinks (and connecting pipes), every single cabinet door, and most of the full-sized doors. The steel jamb of the loading doors had been pulled from the frame, apparently the result of being attached by a tow cable to an accelerating truck.
To complete the performance, the walls were adorned with several crudely drawn penises shown ejaculating on the landlord's name, and a note that "Crownpoint Judge Irene Toledo is a Fat Whore" who can give a good time if you call her Arizona phone number.
Margolese said she's in the midst of getting bids to repair the damage. The landlord estimated the cost to be in the neighborhood of $200,000. Given the more than $7 million in debt Corea already has, they'll have to get in line.
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