Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

New York Palace Hotel Boss Niklaus Leuenberger Gets the Door After Ash Wednesday Slur
DAILY NEWS ^ | Wednesday, March 25th 2009 | Kerry Burke AND Oren Yaniv

Posted on 03/25/2009 9:56:08 AM PDT by nickcarraway

The manager of one of the city's most luxurious hotels was given the boot after ordering a Catholic employee to clean up his forehead on Ash Wednesday.

"Wipe that f-----g s--t off your face," managing director Niklaus Leuenberger told a bell captain at the New York Palace Hotel on Feb. 25, sources said.

The unholy ultimatum ended up costing Leuenberger his job at the Palace, a swanky 55-story tower on Madison Ave. across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral.

"As of Monday, March 23, Leuenberger is no longer employed by the New York Palace," hotel spokeswoman Teresa Delaney told the Daily News Tuesday.

The incident was deemed so severe, Christopher Cowdray, head of the London-based Dorchester Collection, which owns the Palace, flew here to hand Leuenberger the pink slip.

"We take the well-being of our employees extremely seriously and that is why our CEO, Mr. Cowdray, went to New York in person to deal with this matter," the company said.

The object of the manager's insult, bell captain Mike Murray, said the cross of dark ashes was liberally applied to his forehead at his Long Island church.

"My priest did a real number on me," he said with a chuckle.

Catholics receive the ashes as a reminder of their own mortality on Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, a 40-day period of penance that ends on Easter.

"The [general manager] wanted it off, and he knows he was wrong," added the observant Irish Catholic employee. "I've never been approached on a religious issue [before]."

The 893-room five-star hotel, where a posh suite with city views fetches well over $1,000 a night, combines Renaissance-style architecture with modern design and amenities.

The hotel leases its land from the Catholic Church.

It was the place where Leona Helmsley earned the title "Queen of Mean" in the 1980s when the hotel was called the Helmsley Palace.

Leuenberger was tapped as director in May 2007 after many years at the Peninsula Hotel.

When his appointment was announced, he was touted as "a 35-year veteran of the luxury hospitality industry" who was inducted into the "Hotelier's Hall of Achievement" by Leaders Magazine in 2005.

Reached at his Warren, N.J., home, Leuenberger declined to comment, saying, "I don't know what it's about."

Murray said he does not plan to sue.

"I've been working here for 25 years and I wouldn't want to endanger that," he said.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; US: New York
KEYWORDS: ashwednesday; hospitality

1 posted on 03/25/2009 9:56:09 AM PDT by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

just another evil liberal I bet.


2 posted on 03/25/2009 9:57:08 AM PDT by GOP Poet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Wonder what religion he is........he sounds awfully anti-Catholic.


3 posted on 03/25/2009 9:58:25 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion....the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

What a moron. Glad to see he got canned.


4 posted on 03/25/2009 9:59:03 AM PDT by AUJenn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Mr. Cowdray did the right thing.


5 posted on 03/25/2009 9:59:27 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion....the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GOP Poet

We need to start putting quotation marks around “liberal” — they’re anything but.


6 posted on 03/25/2009 10:00:06 AM PDT by JennysCool (Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action - Ian Fleming)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: JennysCool

great point.


7 posted on 03/25/2009 10:01:31 AM PDT by GOP Poet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Murray said he does not plan to sue. "I've been working here for 25 years and I wouldn't want to endanger that,"

How refreshing! He sounds like a good guy.

8 posted on 03/25/2009 10:01:40 AM PDT by proud American in Canada ("We can, and we will prevail.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Surprisingly enough, the employee is NOT suing? I’m not sue-happy, but this is one of those occasions where it might actually have been warranted.


9 posted on 03/25/2009 10:04:25 AM PDT by OCCASparky (Steely-Eyed Killer of the Deep)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: proud American in Canada

I noticed anchors of both media and sports with ashes on their foreheads this year.I don’t remember seeing this before.


10 posted on 03/25/2009 10:04:31 AM PDT by Dr. Ursus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

This is obviously a made up story because as we all know ONLY CHRISTIANS are intolerant.


11 posted on 03/25/2009 10:06:13 AM PDT by AreaMan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2214290/posts

Search is our friend .....


12 posted on 03/25/2009 10:06:35 AM PDT by tgusa (Gun control: deep breath, sight alignment, squeeze the trigger ....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

The guy is a jerk and deserved to be fired. Didn’t he get the message that tolerance is the order of the day and it applies to all religions?


13 posted on 03/25/2009 10:08:18 AM PDT by Professor_Leonide (I said to the young man who showed me a photo, "Who can ever be sure what is behind a mask?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
I thought ashes were much more in evidence this year in New York than in the recent past . . . even the young and attractive were wearing their ashes in trendy Manhattan neighbs. I thought the uncertain economy might account for it.

This a-hole got what he deserved. Was it malice or ignorance? I'm always surprised when people who should know better don't.

14 posted on 03/25/2009 10:10:34 AM PDT by Oratam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tgusa

I did do a search, but didn’t see anything.


15 posted on 03/25/2009 10:11:19 AM PDT by nickcarraway (Are the Good Times Really Over?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

They might have been moving it over to religion at the time - when I saw it it was on the news side.


16 posted on 03/25/2009 10:13:00 AM PDT by tgusa (Gun control: deep breath, sight alignment, squeeze the trigger ....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Niklaus Leuenberger perceived that Christians and Catholics were no longer protected by the First Amendment, and he could administer secular humanist summary punishment on the spot.

Didn't work, this time, to his dismay. Anger and bigotry replaced critical thinking, and won him a spot on the unemployment line.

17 posted on 03/25/2009 10:14:40 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (Welcome to the Obama-Democrat Depression.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
The incident was deemed so severe, Christopher Cowdray, head of the London-based Dorchester Collection, which owns the Palace, flew here to hand Leuenberger the pink slip.

That THAT is a company that takes public relations VERY seriously. Good for them.

18 posted on 03/25/2009 10:25:01 AM PDT by Polybius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
"Wipe that f-----g s--t off your face," managing director Niklaus Leuenberger told a bell captain at the New York Palace Hotel on Feb. 25, sources said.

Probably a member of the "open-minded, tolerant party"...

19 posted on 03/25/2009 10:28:23 AM PDT by Mannaggia l'America
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

Most important piece of information in the original post.

“The hotel leases its land from the Catholic Church. “


20 posted on 03/25/2009 10:28:30 AM PDT by AL932
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: OCCASparky
Surprisingly enough, the employee is NOT suing? I’m not sue-happy, but this is one of those occasions where it might actually have been warranted.

Really? And what damage did he suffer? Didn't the company fire the idiot who was the cause of the problem? What purpose (other then enriching some shyster) would a lawsuit serve?
21 posted on 03/25/2009 10:34:06 AM PDT by Kozak (USA 7/4/1776 to 1/20/2009 Requiescat In Pace)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

WOW! Kudos to the Brit hotel! The boss flew from England just to hand this guy his pink slip! Awesome. Great job by the boss!

I am starting to have more faith in the UK after they chased muslim troublemaker down the street recently when they were heckling returning British soldiers. meanwhile America who elects muslims to lead, er make that destroy, the country.


22 posted on 03/25/2009 10:37:28 AM PDT by Frantzie (Boycott GE - they own NBC, MSNBC, CNBC & Universal. Boycott Disney - they own ABC)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ann Archy

“Wonder what religion he is........he sounds awfully anti-Catholic”

I bet he is a Roamin’ Catholic


23 posted on 03/25/2009 10:43:29 AM PDT by Cyman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Kozak

Like I said, MIGHT. If this incident caused him harm in that his evaluations or future promotion within the company suffers, then he definitely can show cause for damages.


24 posted on 03/25/2009 10:55:06 AM PDT by OCCASparky (Steely-Eyed Killer of the Deep)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

The guy must be an idiot. Or maybe he has been in China too long.


25 posted on 03/25/2009 10:56:34 AM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OCCASparky

Yeah, a guy who likes his job. Probably does it well, too.


26 posted on 03/25/2009 10:59:06 AM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson