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By CeCe Heil1318879209000

The ACLJ is pleased to announce that the New York Port Authority has reached an amicable agreement to allow St. Nicholas Church to be rebuilt, ten years after the church building was destroyed on September 11, 2011. Earlier this year, the ACLJ sent a strong letter to the Port Authority asserting that the Port Authority had misrepresented the nature of its preliminary agreement with St. Nicholas Church, engaged in fraud while moving away from negotiations, relied upon defamation to mask its activities, and trespassed on St. Nicholas Church property without warrant or legal justification. As I said in our demand letter, “The law is clear: the Port Authorities’ current course of dealing harms the constitutional rights of Saint Nicholas Church, not to mention basic principles of contract - the requirements of good faith and the absence of fraud.”

The ACLJ’s letter urged the Port Authority to resume negotiations with St. Nicholas Church and cease trespassing on the church property to avoid violating the church’s rights. The Greek Orthodox church filed a lawsuit early this year and after returning to the negotiations table the Port Authority has finally agreed to allow the reconstruction of St. Nicholas Church close to its original home near ground zero.

“We lost St. Nicholas Church in the destruction of September 11 and for too long its future has been uncertain,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement Friday. “Rebuilding St. Nicholas Church, with a nondenominational bereavement center, is not just good news for the Greek Orthodox community, but for all New Yorkers. With this agreement, we are continuing New York's collective healing, restoration, and resurgence. Now we are finally returning this treasured place of reflection to where it belongs.”

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