Scotto Funeral Home ouster linked to family feud
The ouster of the Scotto Funeral Home from its longtime Carroll Gardens brownstone home at 104-06 First Place is reportedly the result of a feud between members of the Scotto family.
For decades, the home was owned and managed by Salvatore “Buddy” Scotto, 89, a well-known community activist and political candidate who founded the Gowanus Canal Community Development Association and has spearheaded the effort to clean up the canal.
“Debra Scotto, Buddy’s daughter, and I bought the home six years ago,” says John Heyer Jr., a funeral director with the home who was also active in local politics. “We bought the business, not the property.”
Meanwhile, the ownership of the property went to Buddy’s son, Mark; his sister Debra Scotto and Buddy Scotto himself.
“When we purchased the funeral home, we were given a five-year lease,” Heyer said. However, he added, Mark would not renew the lease.
“Mark and Debra are in litigation against each other,” Heyer said. “Mark has taken over management control.” Heyer is being represented legally by Court Street attorney Domenick Napoletano.
Heyer added that Buddy Scotto, who lives in one of the apartments in the First Place building, is not involved in the controversy. Buddy Scotto has been referred to as “the mayor of Carroll Gardens” and, according to some accounts, may have invented the term “Carroll Gardens” itself in the 1960s.
The home itself has buried many well-known people, such as former Schools Chancellor Frank Macchiarola and former Assemblymember Elene Dugan.
Mark Scotto’s Linkedin page describes him as the owner of Viceroy Properties, which he also lists at the First Place address. However, web page for Viceroy listed by another real estate company, Manta.com, was not operable. A call to a cell phone number listed by Manta was not returned by press time, and a landline number for him listed by whitepages.com connected to a fax machine.
While it looks for a new location, the Scotto Funeral Home has been holding wakes at Cobble Hill Funeral Home on nearby Court Street. “They’ve been very supportive,” said Heyer.
Since January, the space occupied by Scotto Funeral Home for generations has been offered for lease by the real estate firm CPEX, according to a local blog, Pardon Me for Asking.
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