“I was like the son he never had,” said Eddie Hoti, a 28-year veteran of the Sutton Place apartments. (Kevin C. Downs for New York Daily News)
Staffers at a Sutton Place co-op claim a reclusive resident wanted to leave them his $4 million estate — and that a mysterious letter found after his death bolsters their assertion, according to new court documents.
Nick Pocesta, a super at Sutton Manor Apartments on E. 56th St. near First Ave., claims longtime resident Stephan Evans handed him a bag of personal effects in May 2017 — when the ailing octogenarian was in an ambulance, papers recently filed in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court contend.
Evans’ nephew and only surviving blood relative, Michael Evans, went through the bag shortly after his 80-year-old uncle’s death last September.
The message, which is undated and couldn’t be verified by the Daily News, reads "Last Will of Stephen S. Evans."
It goes on to say Evans’ co-op, valued at $450,000, goes to Eddie Hoti, a longtime doorman, and instructs that the rest of his assets, including $3.3 million in Exxon Mobil stock and at least $421,000 in cash, be divided between Pocesta and eight other building employees, according to court papers.
"He’d get up pretty early in the morning, sit in the lobby and talk to Eddie for a few hours," said Bernard Dworkin, a building resident who represents the employees.
A judge decided Friday the note isn’t a valid will, Dworkin conceded — but allows another search of Stephen Evans’ apartment to see whether a formal document exists.
"If we don’t find a will before the next court date, it’s over for us," said Dworkin, who has asked the court for $50,000 from the estate to cover legal fees.